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Ernst A. Plischke (1903–1992): A Modernist Architect between Two Worlds

Event Label
Organisational Units
Art and Architecture
Location Description
Room 211a
Schillerplatz 3
1010 Vienna

Lecture by Professor Dr.-Ing. Christoph Schnoor of the Unitec Institute of Technology in Auckland, New Zealand

Born in Vienna, Ernst Plischke studied under Oskar Strnad, Josef Frank and Peter Behrens. With his Employment Office in Liesing (1931), he was able to design a ground-breaking work. Standing up for his Jewish wife, he emigrated with his family to New Zealand in 1939.

He designed multi-units and urban ensembles for the Department of Housing Construction of the New Zealand Government. 1948 he formed his own practice in partnership with New Zealand-born Cedric Firth (1908–1994), through which he realised many houses, a number of churches and one way-leading office building. In 1963, Plischke returned to Vienna, to become Professor at the Academy of Fine Arts. Plischke felt obliged to honour brief, place and context of his designs. He rejected formalism – but had strong formal aspirations. In his designs, he strived for abstraction and reduction to what he felt was the essential core of architecture.

Christoph Schnoor

Associate Professor Dr.-Ing. Christoph Schnoor has been teaching and researching at the Unitec Institute of Technology in Auckland, New Zealand, since 2004. After completing his doctorate at the TU Berlin on Le Corbusier's earliest urban design theories, he has published widely on him.
Le Corbusier's Practical Aesthetic of the City was published by Routledge in 2020.

The research focus on Modernist architecture has led to many publications, including on the historian Colin Rowe - and not least on Ernst Plischke.

Another field of research concerns the South Pacific, where Schnoor studies the interactions between German colonial architecture and indigenous architecture in Samoa.