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Don’t Worry. In Two Days, Tomorrow Will Be Yesterday.” Wolf dPrix

Physical Model


Escaping from model is escaping from architecture. Wolf dPrix

Physical model as main exploration spatial tool for Coop Himmelb(l)au.

Design development was always based on spatial observation of physical model. First physical models were done by using any available material as paper, metal, wires, wood, plastic, whatever they had on hand, experimenting with different materials, burning plastic, e.g. for project Burning Wing — Architecture must Blaze!

In early times it was build right after on the top of the initial project sketch — first project using this technique was Melun-Senart.

One of the first physical models for the project City with Pulsating Space — A city center situated above a traffic intersection


Coop Himmelb(l)au



Sketches as the medium for design.

Sketch — a few genius strokes of the pencil that determined the final form of the building. Wolf dPrix was experimenting on sketching with both hands — right and left — in according to stimulate both brain hemispheres.

The office was founded.

Wolf dPrix and Helmut Swiczinsky sketching ideas together


Coop Himmelb(l)au



We call it early stage of renderings made by cutouts of photos and images.

Cloud Scene, New York, USA (1974)


Coop Himmelb(l)au

Copy Machine


The copy machine enabled to create new sense of space by layering multiple papers as plans, sketches or even materials as wires to explore new spatial dimensions — from 2D to semi 3D. Those collages creates new atmospheres. Sense of space creation.

Tom Wiscombe goes wild about copy machine tool while working on the project Musée des Confluences in Lyon. He spends hours on playing, overlapping, creating collages with technique of layering various papers, transparencies, textures, — creating an atmosphere by collages

Bruno — Totalsanierung Karlsplatz, Vienna


Coop Himmelb(l)au



Fax — sending sketches — communication changed — possible to send images — a new process of wireless transmitting pictures by electricity e.g.: first project that we used for fax — Tokyo — Kon Yo Shen Te 1986

Project Kon’ Yo Shen’ Te — Plan that was sent over fax

Hotwire Cutter


Hotwire cutter is still being used for creating physical models. Fast process of sketching in real physical space exploring spatial qualities. 

Jiva I — Kon’ Yo Shen’ Te in Tokyo, Japan, 1986


Coop Himmelb(l)au

Solid Ink Printing & Digital Printing


Technique of printing later used on facade treatment — Groninger Museum

Computer & CAAD


The first computers in the office — Macintosh — used while project Groninger Museum.

Computer model of Groninger Museum.


Coop Himmelb(l)au

Space Arm 3D scanning


Space arm — first 3D scanning — translating physical models into virtual environment of 3D SW. Case study — Groninger Museum.

Additive & Subtractive Manufacturing


In our office we use all different kinds of digital fabrication techniques for design development as well as model making. 

Additive manufacturing — 3D printing

Subtractive manufacturing — lasercutting, CNC

Laser 3D scanning


Using laser beam we started to use with project PANEUM — House of Bread to translate the physical model into the computer.

3D scanning with laser beam of the physical model for PANEUM — House of Bread project.


Coop Himmelb(l)au

Video conferencing


efficient way of communicating methods all around the world/​video conferencing tools enabled virtual communication faster. first time was used for ECB.



Augmented Reality — holographic projections used for exhibitions earlier gave a direction.

Example project was Brain City LAB exhibition full of augmented models.



The method of scripting — computational design tools enable parametric modeling.

3D optimization process of facade for PANEUM — House of Bread project.


Coop Himmelb(l)au



Building Information Modeling — computational parametric design tools enabled optimizations, simulations to improve forms. value engineering, diversity, easy variations making or massing possibilities, faster generating libraries of geometries, alernatives, formal heterogenity,…

project MOCAPE- GT SW

Robotic Arm


In our office workshop space we have small robotic arm — ABB — thanks to it the complex model building enabled by using its 5‑axis mill.

robotic construction vs. robot for modelmaking — use of robotic arm for concept design phase

We start the future of construction


Coop Himmelb(l)au



Virtual reality not only provides the immersive sensation of actually being inside a building but also helps us to understand spatial relationships and navigate the design decisions. 

VR Hardware in our office — Oculus DK1, later Oculus Quest2 2021

Wolf dPrix drawing concept a sketch in virtual reality, 2014


Coop Himmelb(l)au

Photogrammetry 3D scanning


Digitalization of our models by obtaining measurements from photographs — camera reading digital imagery and computer vision resulting in reconstructing 3D geometry as a point cloud.

First tests of 3D scanning as a part of the workflow used for design development of dome for Lakota Indian Reservation project.


Coop Himmelb(l)au

AI — Machine Learning


Artificial Intelligence — machine learning — CHBL Code — parametric/​computational design code libraries and their application.

Deep Himmelb(l)au research project

gestalt #augmentation #representation learning