Hans Hollein was born in Vienna, Austria, in 1934. He studied architecture at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna with Clemens Holzmeister from 1953 to 1956, at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago from 1958 to 1959, and at the College of Environmental Design at the University of California in Berkeley, USA, from 1959 to 1960. In addition to his work as an architect and architectural theorist, Hollein was active as a sculptor, object artist, designer and curator and of exhibitions. Visiting professorships took him to the Universitiy of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and Ohio State University, Columbus, among others. From 1967 to 1972 he was a professor at the Staatliche Kunstakademie Düsseldorf and from 1976 to 2002 at the University (then Hochschule) of Applied Arts, Vienna. Hans Hollein has received numerous awards, including the Grand Austrian State Prize in 1983 and the Pritzker Architecture Prize in 1985. In 2009 he was awarded the Grand Decoration of Honor in Gold for services to the Republic of Austria. He lived and worked in Vienna, where he died in 2014.
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)read more read less