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COOP HIMMELB(L)AU: Dynamischer Raumplan

On view January 23—March 8, 2015 in the SCI-Arc Gallery

Exhibition Discussion & Opening Reception: Friday, January 23, 7pm
Wolf Prix and SCI-Arc Director Eric Owen Moss discuss the exhibition

Markus Pillhofer │ © COOP HIMMELB(L)AU

"Dynamischer Raumplan" is a spatial installation that operates like a machine. Not an object but designed to visualize a future urban vision based on the city as a dynamic and complex adaptive system. In addition, energy as critical, new parameter for urban planning of the 21st century is introduced as a catalyst for a new city morphology, a major paradigm shift similar to the impact the automobile had on cities in the 20th century. Dynamic energy lines derived from the sun, wind, water, the earth and green will now replace building lines forming three- dimensional fields of potential for new urban typologies in an attempt to generate an energy self-sufficient urban district.

The installation can be read in several scales, from a city block to a city district and an urban region. In a sequence using two simultaneous projections, one by one the energy lines forming the energy potential of an imaginary site are displayed; later, these envelopes are slowly filled with possible urban volumes, "...rigid yet constantly transforming, designed yet loosely defined, standing yet slowly moving, adapting always to the current needs of the system. Like the brain. Like a cloud. Like a city."


COOP HIMMELB(L)AU was founded in Vienna in 1968 and has since then been operating under the direction of CEO and design principal Wolf D. Prix in the fields of art, architecture, urban planning, and design. Another branch of the firm was opened in the United States in 1988 in Los Angeles. COOP HIMMELB(L)AU currently employs over 100 people from 19 different countries. In numerous countries the team has realized museums, concert halls, science and office buildings as well as residential buildings. Presently COOP HIMMELB(L)AU is working on various projects in Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

The company’s most well-known international projects include the Falkestrasse attic conversion in Vienna, the multifunctional UFA Cinema Center in Dresden, the BMW Welt in Munich, the Akron Art Museum in Ohio, the Central Los Angeles Area High School #9 for the Visual and Performing Arts, the Busan Cinema Center in Korea, the Dalian International Conference Center in China and the House of Music in Aalborg, Denmark. Among projects currently under construction are the Musée des Confluences in Lyon, France, and the European Central Bank (ECB) in Frankfurt/Main, Germany.

01.30.15 - 03.01.15 | SCI-Arc Library Gallery
Opening reception: Friday, January 30, 7pm, Moderated by Jeff Kipnis
What’s a Guggenheim?
A group exhibition of design proposals by SCI-Arc directors & faculty

On view January 30-March 1, 2015 in the SCI-Arc Library Gallery
Exhibition discussion & Opening Reception: Friday, January 30, 7pm

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation continually re-invents the contemporary museum experience through their commitment to architecture. Architectural masterpieces such as Frank Lloyd Wright’s Guggenheim New York and Frank Gehry’s Guggenheim Bilbao not only speculate on new ways of organizing art and space, but they create alternative worlds. At the close of the era of mega-projects and the globalization of the art world, the question is: what’s next?

After failed attempts to build in Vilnius in 2008 (with architect Zaha Hadid), and then in Helsinki in 2012, the Guggenheim Foundation has once again set out to build. The socio-political climate has changed since Bilbao, and architecture, too, seems to be at a crossroads. What will this new attempt do for art? For Helsinki? What new worlds will it construct? How will architects respond differently in this century than in the last? Will a contemporary sense of austerity and local culture transform the architectural icon?

This SCI-Arc Library exhibition will engage some of these questions through proposals made by SCI-Arc directors and faculty. An opening discussion moderated by Jeffrey Kipnis will invite participants to discuss their competition entries. The exhibition will feature design proposals by Hernan Diaz Alonso (Xefirotarch), Griffin Enright Architects, Hodgetts + Fung, Jones, Partners: Architecture, Eric Owen Moss Architects, Oyler Wu Collaborative, Pita & Bloom, Russell Thomsen (Idea Office) and Tom Wiscombe Architecture.

Henry N. Cobb: Hypostyle
Opening reception: Thursday, April 2, 7pm
Architect Henry Cobb and SCI-Arc Director Eric Owen Moss discuss the installation

Throughout recorded history, hypostyles have been constructed as halls wherein ordered arrays of massive columns take pride of place and interstitial spaces are experienced as residual. By contrast, in this installation the hypostyle is populated by planar elements joined to form vertical constructs that shape figural spaces both within and between them, creating a complex interplay that blurs the distinction between solid and void.

The installation also departs from precedent by omitting or displacing some of the vertical constructs in such a way as to disrupt the grid and create a variety of spatial configurations, the effect of which is further enhanced by rotating the H-shaped verticals ninety degrees in alternating rows along the length of the Gallery. Above two of the spaces thus formed, roof panels are so positioned as to frame narrow openings through which projected light from overhead sources is admitted, spending itself on the vertical and horizontal surfaces below. Finally, the installation provides a spatial setting for eight color photographs mounted on the Gallery’s perimeter walls and four black-and-white images displayed in the hypostyle’s central space, all depicting built works representative of my practice.

About Henry N. Cobb
Henry N. Cobb is a founding principal of Pei Cobb Freed & Partners Architects, based in New York City. During the six decades since his firm was established in 1955, his practice has embraced a wide variety of building types in cities across North America and around the world. Throughout his career, he has coupled his professional activity with teaching, most intensively during a five-year term (1980-85) as Studio Professor and Chairman of the Department of Architecture at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, where he continues to teach occasionally as a visiting lecturer. He is a recipient of the Gold Medal for Architecture, awarded by the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the Topaz Medallion for Excellence in Architectural Education, awarded jointly by the American Institute of Architects and the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture.