Hans Hollein

Hans Hollein, Semi subterranean building with dome, 1964, DM 2490.013 IN SET – Drawing Matter

Hans Hollein (1934–2014), Semi-subterranean Building with Fibreglass Dome, 1964. Pen and ink on paper, 300 × 500 mm. © Estate of the architect.

Between 1959 and 1964, the sculptor and designer Walter Pichler (1936–2012) and the architect Hans Hollein (1934–2014), working in dialogue, introduced a radically adventurous new plasticity to form, questioning the functional idea of architecture as shelter and its symbolic role as monument, as well as calling for the architect to work as a freely creative mind. As they put it in a 1962 manifesto responding to the circumstances of the space and media age:

Today, for the first time in human history, … when an immensely advanced science and perfected technology offer us all possible means, we build what and how we will, we make an architecture that is not determined by technology but utilises technology, a pure, absolute architecture. Today man is master over infinite space.

Hans Hollein, City Communication Interchange, 1962, DM 2490.018 IN SET – Drawing Matter

Hans Hollein (1934–2014), Study for the City, Communication Interchange, 1962. Pencil and ink on paper, 329 × 418 mm. © Estate of the architect.

Hans Hollein, City Communication Interchange, 1962, DM 2480.019 IN SET – Drawing Matter

Hans Hollein (1934–2014), City, Communication Interchange, 1962. Ink on paper, 329 × 418 mm. © Estate of the architect.

Hans Hollein, Stadt, 1960, DM 2490.012 IN SET – Drawing Matter

Hans Hollein (1934–2014), Stadt, 1960. Pen and ink on paper, 225 × 304 mm. © Estate of the architect.

Hans Hollein, Stadt, 1960, DM 2490.009 IN SET – Drawing Matter

Hans Hollein (1934–2014), Stadt, 1960. Ink on paper, 225 × 304 mm. © Estate of the architect.

Hans Hollein, Beherrschende Stadt, 1960, DM 2490.017 IN SET – Drawing Matter

Hans Hollein (1934–2014), Beherrschende Stadt, 1960. Pencil on paper, 329 × 418 mm. © Estate of the architect.

In propositional studies executed primarily through drawing, projects overlap so that the spatial inquiry becomes a continuous body of work moving from single objects placed in a landscape to vast urban clusters, often called simply ‘City’ or ‘Building’. These experiments include dwellings that might consist of communication cells, secluded enclosures or watch-towers; sacred spaces that would be constructed from the interstices between colliding monumental forms; ‘communication interchanges’; buildings that could take flight; entirely self-sufficient urban structures like the Mesa and Valley Cities Hollein imagined as he travelled through the American West; and the Underground City on which the two collaborated.

Hans Hollein, Beherrschende Stadt, 1960, DM 2490.003 IN SET – Drawing Matter

Hans Hollein (1934–2014), Beherrschende Stadt, 1960. Pencil on paper, 210 × 296 mm. © Estate of the architect.

Hans Hollein, Beherrschende Stadt, 1960, DM 2490.004 IN SET – Drawing Matter

Hans Hollein (1934–2014), Beherrschende Stadt, 1960. Pen and ink on paper, 215 × 280 mm. © Estate of the architect.

Hans Hollein, Stadt, 1960, DM 2490.001 IN SET – Drawing Matter

Hans Hollein (1934–2014), Stadt, 1960. Pen and ink on paper, 210 × 295 mm. © Estate of the architect.

Hans Hollein, Stadt, 1960, DM 2490.014 IN SET – Drawing Matter

Hans Hollein (1934–2014), Stadt, 1960. Pen and ink on paper, 300 × 585 mm. © Estate of the architect.

Asking questions rather than proposing solutions, their work falls across a deliberately uncertain line between art and architecture, the mechanistic and biomorphic, the domineering and humane, the ironic and ideal. Hollein in particular remained through his work, publications and correspondence, a central source of inspiration for the generation of architects aiming to reinvent their field.

Hans Hollein, Arizona Mesa, 1960, DM 2490.015 IN SET – Drawing Matter

Hans Hollein (1934–2014), View of Second Mesa, Arizona, 1960. Ink on paper, 329 × 418 mm. © Estate of the architect.

 

Hans Hollein, House, 1959, DM 2490.011 IN SET – Drawing Matter

Hans Hollein (1934–2014), House, 1959. Ink on paper, 276 × 215 mm. © Estate of the architect.

Hans Hollein, Kirche, 1960, DM 2490.006 IN SET – Drawing Matter

Hans Hollein (1934–2014), Kirche, 1960. Ink on paper, 277 × 215 mm. © Estate of the architect.

WE SUGGEST

On Hollein's Everything is Architecture; on Walter Pichler's Underground City, Twenty Sketches from the Archive; on other Viennese avant-garde groups, Zund-Up's urbanism and collage and Haus-Rucker; on other worlds, other cities of the 1960s, Constant's New Babylon; on the Italian avant-garde and technological, communication interchanges, Ugo La Pietra's UovouomosferaCiceronelettronico of Future Scenarios, and his Cellula Abitativa in This Was Tomorrow.