Coop Himmelblau

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Coop Himmelblau
Established 1968;
Notes See also: Coop Himmelb(l)au, Vienna, Austria and Coop Himmelb(l)au, Los Angeles, California, USA
At Great Buildings




Wolf Dieter Prix was born in 1942 in Vienna. Helmut Swiczinsky was born in 1944 in Poznan, Poland. They formed Co-op Himmelblau in Vienna in 1968 as an innovative approach to architecture. They have worked together for over 20 years.

Coop Himmelblau designs each project based on a series of intense discussions which eventually lead to the emergence of a sketch. This sketch, in turn, leads to a fully formed model. The team rarely alters the design from the initial sketch phase. Instead, they transfer it virtually line for line into a working drawing.

The team attempts to generate asymmetrical structures that strive for freedom from the constrained formalism of a given style. They create "open-planned, open-minded, open-ended" designs, made up of complex, undefined spaces.

Although one of the only 1960s firms to retain the original driving vision with which they started, the team has discarded its original aesthetic. They continue to produce increasingly experimental architecture.


  • Peter Cook and Rosie Llewellyn-Jones. New Spirit in Architecture. New York: Rizzoli International, 1991. ISBN 0-8478-1263-4. NA680.C65.
  • Farrelly, E. M. Songs of Innocence. The Architectural Review v180 p17-24 August 86.
  • Frank Werner. Coop Himmelblau. Birkhauser, November 2000. ISBN 3764360755.

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