The 20th Century was a time of significant political unrest, seeing two World Wars and the 70-year rise and fall of a major superpower, the Soviet Union, among countless other conflicts. In some ways, “modernity” could be characterized by the rapid creation and crystallization of huge numbers of nation states since the outbreak of World War One a hundred years ago.
Reacting to the theme of “Absorbing Modernity“ set for the national pavilions at this year’s Venice Biennale, the curators of the Austrian pavilion chose to investigate the area where this political unrest most overlaps with architecture: the Parliament Buildings of countries around the world.
Read the curator’s take on the pavilion after the break
The Mies van der Rohe Award, today one of the most important and prestigious prizes for architecture within the European competition, was first set up in 1987 by the European Union, the European Commission, the European Parliament and the Fundació Mies van der Rohe – Barcelona. This prize which involves a total sum of 80.000 EUR is organised and awarded every two years.
In 2013 five finalists were chosen from 335 projects nominated by European institutions and international experts – ultimately the eminent members of the jury chose the new Harpa Concert Hall and Conference Centre in Reykjavik designed by the Danish architectural firm Henning Larsen in collaboration with the Islandic practice Batteríið and the artist Olafur Elíasson, which was opened in 2011.
The travelling exhibition presents a total of 39 exceptional buildings from throughout Europe using plans and photographic material as well as numerous models. In the Architekturzentrum Wien the exhibition is augmented by the virtual presentation of 15 additional nominations with Austrian involvement. A catalogue with the projects selected by the jury – prizewinners, finalists and shortlist – will be presented in the context of the exhibition.
More information on the exhibition can be found here.
Title: Exhibition: Europe’s Best Buildings / Mies van der Rohe Award 2013
Organizers: Fundació Mies van der Rohe
From: Thu, 10 Jul 2014
Until: Mon, 15 Sep 2014
Venue: Architekturzentrum Wien
Address: Museumsplatz 1, 1070 Vienna, Austria
A year in the making, Krumbach in Austria has unveiled seven eye-catching bus shelters which have turned the world’s gaze on the tiny village. Designed by internationally renowned architects such as Wang Shu, Sou Fujimoto and Smiljan Radic, who worked in collaboration with local architects and craftsmen, the whimsical structures will put the village of 1000 residents on the map.
Curator Dietmar Steiner praised the commitment of those involved, saying “the entire project succeeded because it was supported in the most generous fashion by more than 200 people.” This included the architects, who took up their projects for little more than a free holiday in the area and the chance to engage in an unusual challenge. However, BUS:STOP was not merely a vanity project: Verena Konrad, Director of vai Vorarlberger Architektur Institut, noted that the project was important for “the successful connection of infrastructure and mobility for the rural area.”
See images of all 7 shelters after the break
International design firm 3XN has recently won a competition to design a residential building in downtown Vienna, Austria. Being so close to the historic center of the city, the project required a unique but unobtrusive appearance. With this in mind, a subtle, curving façade composed of warm colors was developed for the exterior.
Austrian artist, architect, designer, theoretician and Pritzker Prize laureate Hans Hollein has passed away twenty five days after he celebrated his eightieth birthday. Hollein, particularly known for his museum design, including Vienna’s Haas House (1990) and Frankfurt’s Museum of Modern Art, was once described by Richard Meier as an architect whose “groundbreaking ideas” have “had a major impact on the thinking of designers and architects.”
See a selection of Hollein’s work, from architecture to furniture, jewelry to glasses, to a high-rise in China, after the break…
Austrian artist, architect, designer, theoretician and Pritzker Prize laureate Hans Hollein turns 80 today. Described by Richard Meier as an architect whose “groundbreaking ideas” have “had a major impact on the thinking of designers and architects,” Hollein has worked in all aspects of design, from architecture to furniture, jewelry, glasses, lamps — even door handles. Known in particular for his museum designs, from the Abteiberg Museum in Mönchengladbach to the Museum of Modern Art in Frankfurt to Vienna’s Haas House, Hollein’s work manifests a unique, fascinating take on 1950s Modernism.
Parliament, “the place where the power of the people has found its home,” will be the focus of Austria’s contribution to the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale. With over 200 national parliament buildings from around the world modeled at a scale of 1:500, the exhibition, “Plenum. Places of Power.” will explore how the architecture of parliament connects to the public, influences national identify, and more.
“The idea of democratic legitimation of power is so widespread today that no nation can do without building such a place, at least in name, for a representative popular assembly,” described commissioner Dr. Christian Kühn. “What do these places look like? And how are they connected to a public whose trust in democratic formation of will seems to be dwindling around the globe?”