Architecture Must Blaze, 1980
We want architecture that has more. Architecture that bleeds, that exhausts, that whirls and even breaks. Architecture that lights up, stings, rips, and tears under stress.
Architecture has to be cavernous, fiery, smooth, hard, angular, brutal, round, delicate, colorful, obscene, lustful, dreamy, attracting, repelling, wet, dry, and throbbing. Alive or dead.
If cold, then cold as a block of ice.
If hot, then hot as a blazing wing.
Architecture must blaze.
“Architecture must blaze”, demanded Coop Himmelb(l)au in their often-quoted manifesto from 1980, exemplified by the performance “The Blazing Wing” at the Technical University in Graz.
The hovering gas-fueled steel construction was suspended in the courtyard of the University on December 12, 1980 and was ignited at 8:35 P.M. Water curtains protected the facades. During the action the crackling of the flames was heard over amplifiers.
The steel construction, 15 m high and weighing 1,5 tons, was produced by Metallbau Treiber in Graz according to a model scaled at 1:50.