A Research Project of the Institute for Art and Architecture

Exhibition Atelierhaus  Semperdepot

Exhibition: 04.-16.10.2011 | Tue-Sun 12-19:00h

Location: Mehrzwecksaal | 
Academy of Fine Arts Vienna | Lehargasse 8 | 1060 Vienna

Opening: Mon. 03.10.2011 | 19:00h

Welcome and Introduction: Eva Blimlinger | Sabine Gretner | Nasrine Seraji  | Angelika Schnell | Christoph Edler | Nefeli Papakyriakopoulou | Sara Pfeifer


BIG!BAD?MODERN: is the one-year research project of the Institute for Art and Architecture at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, whereby students and faculty of all five platforms came together to examine the often controversial architecture of the post-war era, decidedly four major large-scale projects in Vienna: Vienna General Hospital (AKH), the Altleraa residential project, the ORF broadcasting center on Küniglberg hill and the Vienna University of Economics and Business (WU).

Wintersemester 2010/11 was dedicated to researching and documenting the physical state of these mega complexes, their use, their aesthetics, their history and their acceptance and finding ways to represent the material to be of further use. The following summer semester’s design inquiry underscores the intention that every proposed design is an analysis and every analysis anticipates the intention of the coming design. The buildings are investigated from a present-day perspective and with a view to the future. The exhibition follows a thematic approach: From Happiness to Well-being - From Utopia to History - From Centralization to Bigness - From Function to Program - From Energy to Environment - From Flexibility to Re-use - From a plan libre to Urbanscape and From Process to Access. These eight fields are a testament to the fact that the themes we are preoccupied with today were already being discussed in the sixties and seventies. What has changed is the direction of the discourse.

Each theme is displayed as a long landscape-layered table of different heights to present student works. Introductory statements about the respective topics are set at both ends of the displays. Recorded readings of influential and historical texts from the time period, with their pointed criticism of modern architecture, can be heard via headphones. Thus visitors have the opportunity to immerse themselves in both the history and reality of the modern buildings, as well as the history of their critiques.

The drawings, models, animations and texts of the students can be found on the different levels of each monolithic table. Following the themes of IKA’s five platforms, the work examines matters of construction, ecological aspects, theory, urban development, mobility, etc. Often the focus was not on re-conceiving an entire building, but addressing a specific building fragment. Hence the exhibition does not feature a “WU Master Plan,” for example. Instead, there are a number of different views and solution proposals for the future use of the complex. Although the four buildings did not receive equal attention – the WU was clearly preferred – the ultimate aim was to see the four buildings and individual projects as representatives of a new perspective on the architecture, which demands earnest examination for its sheer mass alone, and the time in which these projects were built.

Before taking in the actual exhibition, the first introductory display, allows visitors the chance to become acquainted with building facts surrounding AKH, Alt Erlaa, ORF and WU at the entrance. Small portraits hung on a nearby wall are photos of “famous” relatives from Berlin, Paris and London that were visited by the entire institute of students and faculty on our BIG! BAD? MODERN: excursions. Oversize photo portraits of the four “agents” can be seen hovering over the displays on the back wall of the exhibition space across from the entrance. These photos give visitors an up close sense of the buildings personages.

Idea for the project BIG!BAD?MODERN:

Christina Condak, Christian Fröhlich, Stefan Gruber, Michelle Howard, Peter Leeb, Angelika Schnell, Lisa Schmidt-Colinet, Nasrine Seraji, Werner Skvara, Wolfgang Tschapeller, Markus Vogl

Coordination and Design of the Exhibition | Christina Condak, Christoph Edler, Antje Lehn, Nefeli Papakyriakopoulou, Sarah Pfeifer, Angelika Schnell

The design of the exhibition was conceived and produced by students and faculty in the form of a summer semester design studio. All student´s work was produced in the design studios in 2010/11.

Portraits Photography | Thomas Freiler

Consultancy Graphic Design | Thomas Kussin, buero8

This Exhibition is supported by ORF, cooperation with Magistrat der Stadt Wien MA 21A, BIG Entwicklungs- und Verwertungs GmbH, ÖBB-Immobilienmanagement GmbH and our partners for material: Naporo Dämmstoffe und SWAP Sachsen.

Special thanks to:

Eva Blimlinger, Eduard Frosch (VAMED), ORF Backstage and Werner Skvara, Günther Dreger, Benedikt Frass, Heinz Siegl, Franz Schmied