Hans Hollein



With the death of Hans Hollein Vienna bids farewell to the last representative of a design tradition that goes back to Hoffmann and Loos. Eclectic and non-conforming, the first works of Hollein were teapots, jewels and eyeglasses, aside from small daring buildings, like the Retti Candleshop (1966) or the Schullin Jewelry Shop (1974), characterized by a sophisticated materiality that reflected Viennese sensibility. Already from these bright beginnings, Hollein stood out for the freedom with which he made reference to architectural history, for his denials of modern functionalism presented in manifestoes like ‘Alles ist Architektur,’ and for his messianic belief that architecture would be a pure formal art once again, ideas reflected in the Museum of Modern Art in Frankfurt or Abteiberg Museum, for which he merited the Pritzker Prize in 1985, and which would be followed by his most emblematic work in Vienna, the Haas Haus. In later buildings Hollein would not achieve the brilliance of these works, but until his death he continued to be an undisputed reference of Viennese culture, at once subtle and passionately local.

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