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Coop Himmelb(l)au Austria Biennale di Venezia 1996

Coop Himmelb(l)au Austria Biennale di Venezia 1996 

Exhibition Catalogue:
Ritter Verlag, Klagenfurt 1996
Conception: Prix, Swiczinksky, Himmelb(l)au
ISBN 3 – 85415-202 – 7

Exhibition COOP HIMMELB(L)AU – From Cloud to Cloud“
Austrian Pavilion, Commissioner: Hans Hollein

Last year, COOP HIMMELB(L)AU transformed the pavilion built by Josef Hoffmann in 1934 by means of radical intervention. While the Austrian entry to last year’s Art Biennale was presented in this context, this year the Architecture Biennale – before the imminent restoration of the pavilion to its original state – has the opportunity of displaying the work of COOP HIMMELB(L)AU beyond this one specific project. Corresponding perfectly with the focal theme of Architecture Biennale, Sensing the Future – the Architect as Seismograph”, Wolf D. Prix and Helmut Swicinzsky demonstrate the lines along which their ideas have been developing in an exhibition subtitled From Cloud to Cloud”. The emphasis of this show lies on the projects and buildings of recent years, but is also a paraphrase of the blue and the cloud in the sky apostrophized in the name of their team. While pneumatic clouds stood at the beginning of their work, these recent projects exhibit not only deconstructivist formations but also a return to floating, cloud-like casings. 

Deriving their initial impetus from the confrontation with those early visionary developments and tendencies in Vienna to which they subsequently would contribute, (a current exhibition featuring Günther Feuerstein in the Austrian Pavilion exemplifies this allusion), COOP HIMMELB(L)AU have developed a body of work which evoked response on an international level. In recent years, they have had the opportunity to realize ideas of considerable scope, followed by the Museum in Groningen, and finally, the UFA Cinema Center in Dresden now in the planning phase. The Austrian Pavilion, which currently presents a work by COOP HIMMELB(L)AU, serves, dialectically, as the hull for a content produced by the same authors – a fortunate synergy, complemented by its part in the international exhibition, Sensing the future – the architect as seismograph”. 

Hans Hollein 
Commissioner of Austria and
Director of the Architecture Department at the Biennale Venice