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  3. Hadid, Gehry, and Others Fight to Save Helmut Richter's Modernist Masterpiece

Hadid, Gehry, and Others Fight to Save Helmut Richter's Modernist Masterpiece

Hadid, Gehry, and Others Fight to Save Helmut Richter's Modernist Masterpiece
Hadid, Gehry, and Others Fight to Save Helmut Richter's Modernist Masterpiece, Science Secondary School in Kinkplatz, Vienna, Exterior. Image © Manfred Seidl
Science Secondary School in Kinkplatz, Vienna, Exterior. Image © Manfred Seidl

The Science Secondary School in Kinkplatz, Vienna is the work of late Modernist architect Helmut Richter. Considered to be his most iconic and enduring work, Richter’s school is now faced with partial demolition to make way for a conversion of the building’s use and architects from around the world are making an effort to prevent that demolition from happening. Influential individuals, from Zaha Hadid to Bernard Tschumi, have signed a petition voicing their dissent and demanding that Richter’s legacy be protected. See the details, and sign the petition, after the break.

Richter was particularly well-known for his work in glass, and the Kinkplatz school is a prime example of that interest. Completed in 1994, the two main wings of the school have walls and ceilings constructed in glass, as does the central gymnasium. The design is hailed as a masterpiece, and has proven to be a major influence in the work of Austrian architecture students (many of whom Richter taught). The public outcry over its possible destruction has been correspondingly severe.

Science Secondary School in Kinkplatz, Vienna, Facade Detail. Image © Manfred Seidl
Science Secondary School in Kinkplatz, Vienna, Facade Detail. Image © Manfred Seidl

The Helmut Richter Committee, formed by 23 architects including names like Frank Gehry and Steven Holl, issued a pledge last week declaring their “opposition to the legacy of Helmut Richter being in any way impaired or disfigured, or even demolished and replaced by new buildings.” This immediately preceded a public petition calling for the historic building’s preservation. To date that petition has over 400 signatures from across the globe.

Science Secondary School in Kinkplatz, Vienna, Gymnasium. Image © Rupert Steiner
Science Secondary School in Kinkplatz, Vienna, Gymnasium. Image © Rupert Steiner

Are you interested in adding your support to the Kinkplatz School’s preservation? Sign your name here, and read the full pledge from the Helmut Richter Committee below.

Courtesy of Ana Berlin Communications
Courtesy of Ana Berlin Communications

Reference: The Standard

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Cite: Connor Walker. "Hadid, Gehry, and Others Fight to Save Helmut Richter's Modernist Masterpiece" 20 Nov 2014. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/569672/hadid-gehry-and-others-fight-to-save-helmut-richter-s-modernist-masterpiece/> ISSN 0719-8884
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