Coop Himmelb(l)au’s Musée des Confluences Through the Lens of Edmund Sumner

© Edmund Sumner

Edmund Sumner has shared with us images from his recent visit to Lyon, France, where he photographed Coop Himmelb(l)au’s newly completed Musée des Confluences. Perched on a century-old artificial peninsula at the confluence of the Rhône and Saône rivers, the “museum of knowledge,” as Coop Himmelb(l)au affectionately refers to it, is distinct for its “iconic gateway” – an openly traversable “Crystal” that provides multi-level access to the museum’s spaces and views of the building’s unique context. Step inside, after the break.

The Robot Revolution: Coop Himmelb(l)au Founder Wolf D. Prix on the Future of Construction

With a recently released animation entitled “We Start the Future of Construction,” Coop Himmelb(l)au announced their intention to take digital fabrication to a radical new scale, demonstrating how technology is impacting almost every aspect of the architectural profession. The advent of building information modeling and other modeling software has transformed how architects and engineers navigate the construction process, allowing us to achieve increasingly complex forms that can be modeled with the aid of CNC machining and 3D Printing, but still there remains a wide gap between the technologies available to architects and those employed by builders. When it comes to a building’s actual construction we have been limited by the great costs associated with non-standard components and labor – but now, the automated practices that transformed manufacturing industries could revolutionize how we make buildings.

Last week, ArchDaily sat down with co-founder, Design Principal and CEO of Wolf D. Prix for his thoughts on the future of construction and the role of the architect in an increasingly technological practice. Read on after the break to find out how robots could impact architectural design, construction, and the future of the profession.

Musée des Confluences / Coop Himmelb(l)au

© Duccio Malagamba

Architects: Coop Himmelb(l)au
Location: 86 Quai Perrache, 69002 Lyon,
Area: 46476.0 sqm
Year: 2014
Photographs: Duccio Malagamba

Coop Himmelb(l)au Designs Anti-Surveillance Coat

© Markus Pillhofer

The Austrian firm Coop Himmelb(l)au has designed a wacky quilted coat that blocks electronic surveillance. With pockets to protect your collection of phones and tablets, the Jammer Coat was commissioned for the Workwear exhibition at the Triennale in Milan.

House of Music / Coop Himmelb(l)au

© Martin Schubert

Architects: Coop Himmelb(l)au
Location: Musikkens Plads, 9000 ,
Design Principal/ Ceo: Wolf D. Prix
Project Partner: Michael Volk
Design Architect: Luzie Giencke
Project Architect: Marcelo Bernardi, Pete Rose
Area: 20257.0 sqm
Year: 2014
Photographs: Martin Schubert, Courtesy of Coop Himmelb(l)au, Rene Jeppesen, Aleksandra Pawloff

Venice Biennale 2014: Austrian Pavilion Explores the Power of Parliament

Dalian International Conference Center / Coop Himmelb(l)au. Image © Duccio Malagamba

Parliament, “the place where the power of the people has found its home,” will be the focus of ’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 , “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?”

In Progress: Musée des Confluences / COOP HIMMELB(L)AU

Courtesy of COOP HIMMELB(L)AU

Architects: COOP HIMMELB(L)AU
Location: Lyon,
Architect In Charge: COOP HIMMELB(L)AU , Helmut Swiczinsky + Partner
Design Principal: Wolf D. Prix
Project Partner: Markus Prossnigg
Project Architects: Mona Bayr, Angus Schoenberger
Project Coordination: Thomas Margaretha, Peter Grell
Local Architect, Planning: Patriarche & Co, Chambéry/Lyon, France
Area: 46476.0 sqm
Year: 2014
Photographs: Courtesy of COOP HIMMELB(L)AU, Hubert Canet, Balloïde

Dawang Mountain Resort Changsha / Coop Himmelb(l)au

© Coop Himmelb(l)au

One of Coop Himmelb(l)au‘s latest competition winning designs is the Dawang Mountain Resort near , , a combination of an entertainment ice world with an indoor ski slope, a water park and supporting restaurant and shopping facilities. Positioned directly on top of a historical cement mining quarry pit and lake, this proposal aims to combine “striking landscape with ambitious design” in a way that could redefine the idea and aesthetics of recreation for the south-central Chinese city.

Dalian International Conference Center / Coop Himmelb(l)au

©

Architects: Coop Himmelb(l)au
Location: Dalian, China
Design Principal: Wolf D. Prix
Project Partner: Paul Kath (until 2010), Wolfgang Reicht
Project Architect: Wolfgang Reicht
Design Architect: Alexander Ott
Design Team: Quirin Krumbholz, Eva Wolf, Victoria Coaloa
Area: 117,650 sqm
Year: 2012
Photographs: Duccio Malagamba

AD Interviews: Wolf D. Prix / Coop Himmelb(l)au

Highly regarded as both an academic and practitioner, Wolf Prix is an architect’s architect. He’s also a Guinness World Record holder. (The Busan Cinema Center boasts the world’s longest cantilever roof). We sat down with the Austrian architect and learned that not only does he welcome the unforeseeable results of rule-breaking, but he also borrows models of strategy and organization from soccer:

“Of course nowadays the architect as a single genius is over. I think we have to learn how to communicate and work in a team. Therefore, I just rearranged the organization of our office along the idea of the football team, FC Barcelona. Barcelona plays a beautiful game, very clever and very intelligent—they always play in a triangle system and then Messi or Xavi breaks the rules and plays street football with unforeseeable rules. This is the way we work in our office and this is the way that we design.”

He founded COOP HIMMELB(L)AU in 1968 (with Helmut Swiczinsky) and in 1980 the office published “Architecture Must Burn!” a manifesto which extolled the virtues of an architecture “that bleeds, exhausts, that turns and even breaks.” From its inception the office has pushed the boundaries of practice through its use of complex forms, communicated using a variety of media and materials. Their projects represent an embrace of imbalance, disquiet, distortion, fragmentation and chaos.

The title of one of his latest lectures (“In two days tomorrow will be yesterday”) aptly encapsulates Prix’s approach to time and space.

He gained international recognition when his firm’s work was featured in the 1988 MoMA show “Deconstructivist Architecture.” The show marked what curator Philip Johnson described as the “pleasures of unease” and highlighted the work of six other architects in addition to — Zaha HadidRem KoolhaasFrank GehryPeter EisenmannBernard Tschumi and Daniel Libeskind. The curators brought together this diverse group of architects to showcase the commonalities between projects that harnessed previously unexplored potentials of the modern movement.

“We always wanted to get through with our radical ideas. No compromising on one hand; on the other hand, if you build large projects you have to think in real terms as well.”

Prix’s architecture has employed advances in technology to create public spaces that challenge tradition and convention. COOP HIMMELB(L)AU’s more recent projects include The Busan Cinema CenterMusée des ConfluencesBMW Welt, and Dalian International Conference Center. He has taught at the Universität für angewandte Kunst (University of Applied Art) in Vienna, Harvard University, the Architectural Association, Columbia University and other prominent schools of architecture.

Busan Cinema Center / Coop Himmelb(l)au

© Duccio Malagamba

Architects: Coop Himmelb(l)au
Design Principal / Ceo:
Project Partner: Michael Volk
Project Architect: Günther Weber
Design Architects: Martin Oberascher, Jörg Hugo
Project Team: Sergio Gonzalez, Rob Henderson, Guthu Hallstein, Matt Kirkham, Veronica Janovska, Dieter Segerer, Markus Baumann, Jasmin Dieterle, Anja Sorger, Jana Kucerova, Jan Brosch, Ivana Jug
Client: Municipality of Busan: Kim, Byung-Heui; Cho, Seung-Ho; Chai, Young-Eeon; Seo, Myoung Seok
Year: 2012
Photographs: Duccio Malagamba, Courtesy of

Culture Art Center Changsha / Coop Himmelb(l)au

Courtesy of ISOCHROM.com, Vienna

Coop Himmelb(l)au has come up with an incredibly unique design for the new Grand Theatre and International Culture & Art Center for ChangshaChina. The site is located on the northeastern side of the newly created Meixi Lake in the Daheexi District, with the design engaging both land and water with a flowing and undulating white form of enormous scale. The architects hope to create a new cultural center that interacts with the existing natural landscape, not only visually, but scientifically by running on alternative energy sources and efficient passive energy systems to reduce environmental impact.

The architects’ description after the break…

‘Wolf D. Prix & Partner: 7+ Projects, Models, Plans, Sketches, Statements’ Coop Himmelb(l)au Exhibition

Courtesy of Aedes Berlin /

On the occasion of ’ 70th birthday, the Architekturforum Aedes in Berlin is devoting an exhibition to Coop Himmelb(l)au entitled “Wolf D. Prix & Partner: 7+ Projects, Models, Plans, Sketches, Statements”. The event began on December 12 and ends January 24. The event highlights 70 years, 7 projects, the 7 lives of an architect as the magical number 7 has been integrated into the exhibition concept in a variety of ways. This show, which opened just one day before the 70th birthday of Coop Himmelb(l)au founder Wolf D. Prix, begins with a backward glance at the founding year of 1968 and the theoretical roots of this architectural partnership. For more information, please visit here.

In Progress: Musée des Confluences / Coop Himmelb(l)au

Musée des Confluences / © Hubert Canet, Balloïde Photo

Architect:  COOP HIMMELB(L)AU , Helmut Swiczinsky + Partner
Location: Lyon, France
Client: Département du Rhône / Represented by SERL
Landscape Design: EGIS aménagement
Site Area: 20,975 m²
Net Floor Area: 26,700 m²
Gross Floor Area: 46,476 m²
Building Costs: EUR 150 Mio
Scheduled Completion: 2014

   

Busan Cinema Center Nearing Completion

©

The construction of the Cinema Center by architecture firm COOP HIMMELB(L)AU is nearing completion. Slated to be the new home of the Busan International Film Festival, the complex will house cinemas, restaurants, a 1000 seat multifunctional theater, and numerous public spaces. More details after the break.

Cinema Center in Busan, South Korea / Coop Himmelb(l)au

© Nathan Willock

Architect: Coop Himmelb(l)au
Location: Busan, South Korea
Text: 
Project Year: 2011
Photographs: ISOCHROM, Nathan Willock

Martin Luther Church in Hainburg / Coop Himmelb(l)au

©

Architects: Coop Himmelb(l)au
Location: , Austria
Design Principal: Wolf D. Prix
Project Architect: Martin Mostböck
Design Architect: Sophie-Charlotte Grell
Project Team: Steven Baites, Daniel Bolojan, Victoria Coaloa, Volker Kilian, Martin Neumann, Martin Jelinek
Site Area: 420 sqm
Project Area: 289 sqm
Project Year: 2011
Photographs: Duccio Malagamba

The Open Parliament of Albania / Coop Himmelb(l)au

© COOP HIMMELB(L)AU

Austrian architects Coop Himmelb(l)au shared with us their winning scheme for ‘The New Parliamentary Complex of the Republic of ’. The building, located on a site area with approximately 28,000 m², is going to be the first project in for the Viennese headquartered studio. More images and architect’s description after the break.