Hans Hollein, born 1934 in Vienna, Austria, studied architecture 1953 to1956 at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna, 1958 to 1959 at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago, and 1959 to 1960 at the College of Environmental Design at University of California in Berkeley, USA. Alongside his work as architect and artist, Hollein is active as a curator and designer of exhibitions. Guestprofessorships a. o. at UCLA and Ohio State University, 1967 to 1972 professor at the State Art Academy Düsseldorf, 1976 to 2002 at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna. Hans Hollein was awarded numerous prizes, amongst them in 1983 the Grand Prize of the Austrian State and in 1985 the Pritzker Architecture Prize. In 2014 he passed away at the age of 80 in Vienna.
Hollein is one of the pioneers of contemporary architecture, which to him “is ritual and preservation of body temperature”. This extended concept of architecture also informs his work in installations, drawings, and design. In the legendary series of photo montages Transformations (1963-68), he integrated objects ranging from an aircraft carrier to a car grill as architectural elements in cityscapes and landscapes. Minimal Environment (1965), a project for the Paris Biennial, enables living in the most restricted of spaces, yet in global communication. He developed the concept of architecture as the production of emotional and physical impressions in the Architecture Pill, an element of the Non-physical Environmental Control Kit (1967), and in Svobodair (1968), an environment control spray. In the television series “The Austrian Portrait”, Hollein presented his Mobile Office (1969), a pneumatic room conceived as a transportable studio in a suitcase. Among his best-known buildings are candle-shop Retti (Vienna, 1965) Abteiberg, Municipal Museum (Mönchengladbach, 1972-82), Frankfurt Museum of Modern Art (1983-91), Haas building (Vienna, 1985-90), Vulcania museum (France, 1994-97) and Generali /Media Tower (Vienna 1994-2001). The Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris dedicated an exhibition to him in 1987 called Métaphores et Métamorphoses. It was also shown at the Museum of 20th Century in Vienna and the Berlin National Gallery. In 1995 Hollein gave an insight into his work at the Historical Museum of the City of Vienna. (Monika Vykoukal)