Meet Wolf D. Prix, one of the originators of the deconstructivist architecture movement | SHARE Bucharest 2019

Arch. Prof. Wolf D. Prix, co-founder, Design Principal and CEO of COOP HIMMELB(L)AU, one of the most outstanding international architectural offices in the world, will be joining us as a Special Guest Speaker at SHARE Bucharest 2019, on April 18 at Radisson Blu Hotel.  

Wolf D. Prix, born in 1942 in Vienna, is co-founder, Design Principal and CEO of COOP HIMMELB(L)AU. He studied architecture at the Vienna University of Technology, the Architectural Association of London as well as at the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc) in Los Angeles. Amongst others, Wolf D. Prix taught at the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc), Harvard Graduate School of Design, Columbia University, UCLA University of California and Yale School of Architecture. From 2003-2012 he was a Vice-Rector and Head of the Institute of Architecture at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna.

The firm’s name—german for “Blue-Sky Cooperative”—was a wordplay describing their efforts to “make architecture light and fluctuating like clouds.” In the 1970s Prix and Swiczinsky, the co-founder, who had both studied at the Technical University of Vienna, created designs that dematerialized the heaviness of conventional architecture through unexpected airy angles and complicated spatial solutions. These exuberant results were achieved through a process that Prix described as “draw[ing] with one’s eyes closed,” a technique comparable to the automatic drawing practiced by Dadaists and Surrealists in the 1920s and ’30s.

Wolf D. Prix is counted among the originators of the deconstructivist architecture movement. COOP HIMMELB(L)AU had its international breakthrough with the invitation to the exhibition “Deconstructivist Architecture” at MoMA New York in 1988. Over the years Wolf D. Prix/ COOP HIMMELB(L)AU was awarded with numerous international architecture awards. The exhibition at the Museum of Modern Arts’, curated by Philip Johnson, also included the firm COOP HIMMELB(L)AU, led by the architect Wolf D. Prix amongst Peter Eisenman, Frank Gehry, Zaha Hadid, Rem Koolhaas, Daniel Libeskind, Bernard Tschumi. They would prove to be some of the most influential architects of the late 20th Century to the present day.

The work of Wolf D. Prix has employed advances in technology as it has been published in numerous books and featured in many museums and collections worldwide. COOP HIMMELB(L)AU’s more recent projects include The Busan Cinema CenterMusée des ConfluencesMartin Luther Churchthe Open Parliament of Albania, Dalian International Conference Center, PANEUM Expo Center or Cape 10 housing in Vienna, Austria. In 2006, he was the commissioner for the Austrian contribution for the 10th International Exhibition of the Venice Biennale.

Wolf D. Prix received numerous awards including the Great Austrian State Award and the Austrian Decoration of Honor for Science and Art. He is permanent member of the Austrian Art Senate and the European Academy of Sciences and Arts as well as chairman of the Curia for Art since autumn 2014.

Two Universities have conferred him the Doctorate Honoris Causa: The Universidad de Palermo, Buenos Aires, Argentina (2001) and the “Ion Mincu” University of Architecture and Urbanism, Bucharest, Romania (2014). In 2015 he was awarded an Honorary Diploma of the Architectural Association of London.

SHARE Bucharest 2019 International Architecture and Engineering Forum will take place on the 18th of April. The event brings together principal and senior architects from leading practices to discuss and gain inspiration from each other. Arch. Wolf D. Prix is the special guest of the event, and will hold the conference “The Himmelb(l)au Project – Life, Philosophy and Projects”.

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