Coop Himmelblau is a cooperative architectural design firm which was located in Vienna Austria. This award winning post-modernist group of creatives was founded by Wolf Prix, and Helmut Swiczinksy. These architects are very famous for partaking in the 1988 exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art called "Deconstructivist Architecture." That show, which is now thee decades old change the way we view commercial and residential architectural projects and the post modernist influence of this cooperative dots landscapes all over the world.
Coop Himmelblau now also maintains offices in Los Angeles in the U.S. and in Guadalajara, Mexico. The name means "heaven construction" in German and in English translates to
mean "sky blue." The coop is not like "chicken coop" but rather the abbreviation for the work cooperative.
If the building seems crooked, twisted or missing a few beams or if it seems a bit out of perspective or balancing magically with no support than it is probably is designed by someone from Coop Himmelblau or by someone who has been influenced by Wolf Prix, Michael Holzer or Helmut Swiczinksy.
A very famous building is the UFA-Palaste in Dresden which looks like a giant pointed quartz crystal extending out of the side of the building. The construction is made of hundreds of facets of window paned glass and
ooks like it is naturally growing out of the building.
Yet another very famous piece of architecture designed by the Coop Himmelblau is the Gasometer building in Vienna, which looks like a thin, bent stick of gum with balconies running up the side. It is one of the narrowest buildings in the world.
Another signature building is the Groninger Museum in the Netherlands, which has a beautiful deconstructed roof. It literally looks like a bomb has dropped on top of the building and the beams fixed together in an artistic jumble.
his team of famous designers has been together for a good part of the last century. Wolf Dieter Prix was born in 1942 in Vienna. Helmut Swiczinksy was born in 1944 in Poznan, Poland. They formed Co-op Himmelblau
n Vienna in 1968 as an alternative and creative approach to architecture.
The sketches that the buildings are created from a very free form and are intended to be gestural and free from the restrictions of formalism. The intent is creating open minded free spaces that are undefined, interesting and complex.
From out of this process came a trend for designing buildings that are almost entirely made out of panes of glass. A very good example of this is the Skygarden building in their hometown of Vienna which is 25 stories of leveled glass.
Along with experimenting with the look of glass the cooperative has also been experimenting with the passive heat and cooling system that can be developed for a building that has such a fašade. Another reason for paying attention to this element has been to develop "gardens in the sky" that can be cultivated by humans who before this time in history had to be happy residing in dwellings on the ground. The concept behind the firm named Himmelblua is to literally uplift mankind into the sky with the use of architecture.
If the firm is known for anything it is also its theoretical process of designing buildings. Everything that manifest from Coop Himmelblau begins with many long conversations that re eventually transformed into drawings. Coop Himmelblau is so famous just for it's concepts that sometimes simply the plans for a project are exhibited at a famous gallery museum.
This team has won many awards including two American Architecture Awards for the Chicago Athenaeum in Illinois and the Akron Art Museum in Ohio.
One of the most interesting things about this firm is that their vision is still creative yet it has never changed. The influence of Coop Himmelblau is absolutely seminal and their designs are taught as a primer in basic deconstructivism in every university or college that is devoted to design in the world.