Design Icon: 8 Buildings by Hans Hollein

written by:
April 24, 2014
The late, Pritzker-winning Viennese architect was a key proponent of postmodernism. Read Full Article
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  Abteiberg Museum (Mönchengladbach, Germany: 1982)
Hollein’s design for this edgy contemporary art museum integrated angular structures amidst the cathedral and abbey of a quaint baroque village in West Germany, and managed to make it a striking yet seamless part of the landscape. The array of spaces, shapes, and designs was meant to present diverse means of presentation, yet stand on its own as a work of art. 

Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons.
    Abteiberg Museum (Mönchengladbach, Germany: 1982)

    Hollein’s design for this edgy contemporary art museum integrated angular structures amidst the cathedral and abbey of a quaint baroque village in West Germany, and managed to make it a striking yet seamless part of the landscape. The array of spaces, shapes, and designs was meant to present diverse means of presentation, yet stand on its own as a work of art.

    Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

  • 
  Museum of Modern Art in Frankfurt (Frankfurt, Germany: 1991) 
Known as a Das Tortenstück (“piece of cake”), a reference to the shape and not the process of creation, the museum showcases a collection of modern and Pop art. A series of glass-vaulted halls permit an abundance of natural light to enter the building and illuminate the artwork.  

Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons.
    Museum of Modern Art in Frankfurt (Frankfurt, Germany: 1991)

    Known as a Das Tortenstück (“piece of cake”), a reference to the shape and not the process of creation, the museum showcases a collection of modern and Pop art. A series of glass-vaulted halls permit an abundance of natural light to enter the building and illuminate the artwork.

    Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

  • 
  Haas Haus (Vienna, Austria: 1987)
A brilliant green granite and glass creation that had an abrupt debut, considering its location in the city’s St. Stephens Square, the Hass House actually had a historic pedigree (the outside mirrors the corner of an old Roman fortification). While Hollein was initially criticized—"I get anonymous letters saying I should jump off the top of the Haas Haus," he said in an interview—the building has since been recognized for introducing a modern aesthetic to Vienna's downtown.

Photo courtesy Rory Hyde, Creative Commons.
    Haas Haus (Vienna, Austria: 1987)

    A brilliant green granite and glass creation that had an abrupt debut, considering its location in the city’s St. Stephens Square, the Hass House actually had a historic pedigree (the outside mirrors the corner of an old Roman fortification). While Hollein was initially criticized—"I get anonymous letters saying I should jump off the top of the Haas Haus," he said in an interview—the building has since been recognized for introducing a modern aesthetic to Vienna's downtown.

    Photo courtesy Rory Hyde, Creative Commons.

  • 
  Retti Candle Shop (Vienna, Austria:1965 )
Hollein’s dramatic design for a simple candle store won him the $25,000 Reynolds Memorial Award, a purse that actually was more than the cost of the building.
    Retti Candle Shop (Vienna, Austria:1965 )

    Hollein’s dramatic design for a simple candle store won him the $25,000 Reynolds Memorial Award, a purse that actually was more than the cost of the building.

  • 
  Museum of Glass and Ceramics (Tehran, Iran: 1978)
Hollein retrofitted a private residence-turned-embassy in Tehran and turned it into a luxurious showplace for art and craftsmanship that blended Eastern and Western styles, including elegant wooden staircases and stucco mouldings.
    Museum of Glass and Ceramics (Tehran, Iran: 1978)

    Hollein retrofitted a private residence-turned-embassy in Tehran and turned it into a luxurious showplace for art and craftsmanship that blended Eastern and Western styles, including elegant wooden staircases and stucco mouldings.

  • 
  Vulcania Museum (Auvergne, France: 2002) 
More fun than it may sound, the volcano amusement park, designed by Hollein, features a metaphorical volcano (pictured above), lined in steel, dark stone, and gold, that provides a colorful symbol of geo-thermic power.

Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons.
    Vulcania Museum (Auvergne, France: 2002)

    More fun than it may sound, the volcano amusement park, designed by Hollein, features a metaphorical volcano (pictured above), lined in steel, dark stone, and gold, that provides a colorful symbol of geo-thermic power.

    Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

  • 
  Saturn Tower (Vienna, Austria: 2004) 
This 21-story structure, interspersed with cut forms and antilevered parts, provides a plethora of views and canopies with which to gaze upon Vienna. It’s a carefully sculpted and controlled piece of glass and steel.
    Saturn Tower (Vienna, Austria: 2004)

    This 21-story structure, interspersed with cut forms and antilevered parts, provides a plethora of views and canopies with which to gaze upon Vienna. It’s a carefully sculpted and controlled piece of glass and steel.

  • 
  Interbank Headquarters (Lima, Peru: 2001) 
An architectural centerpiece of Lima, this banner-shaped edifice presents a striking symbol of progress at the intersection of two highways. At night, the neon lighting illuminates the titanium mesh exterior.

Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons.
    Interbank Headquarters (Lima, Peru: 2001)

    An architectural centerpiece of Lima, this banner-shaped edifice presents a striking symbol of progress at the intersection of two highways. At night, the neon lighting illuminates the titanium mesh exterior.

    Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

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  Architect Hans Hollein (1934-2914)  
Austrian Culture Minister Josef Ostermayer described Hollein as "a master architect, inspiring teacher (and) visionary."
    Architect Hans Hollein (1934-2914)

    Austrian Culture Minister Josef Ostermayer described Hollein as "a master architect, inspiring teacher (and) visionary."

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