8.8.2011

"I am not a Roland Rainer disciple, nor am I a proponent of all of Rainer's theoretical standpoints. The Roland Rainer Chair provides the opportunity to pay tribute to Rainer's accomplishments, particularly those in Vienna, to juxtapose his architectural and urban planning position with the contemporaneous - and critical - context and, a half-century later, to study the facts and criteria that have changed."

Hermann Czech, born in Vienna, studied with Konrad Wachsmann at the Summer Academy Salzburg and with Ernst A. Plischke at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna.

His heterogeneous work includes planning, e.g. a critical subway network project for Vienna (with several authors, 1967), as well as interventions of small scale, like "Kleines Café" (Vienna 1970 and 1974), or the "Wine house PUNKT" (Caldaro, Italy 2005), and exhibition design, as "Wien 1938", in the Vienna town hall 1988.

Apart from school and hotel buildings, his housing projects comprise a residential scheme involving users' participation, Perchtoldsdorf near Vienna 1994, an object in the housing development of international architects, Vienna Hadersdorf, 2007, and one in "Housing for different generations", Vienna Mühlgrund (with Adolf Krischanitz and Werner Neuwirth), 2011.

Czech was teaching at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna, at Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass., at ETH Zurich, and at TU Vienna.

He is author of numerous critical and theoretical publications. In his theory ("architecture is background") the notions of conversion and mannerism play a significant role.

Roland Rainer Visiting Chair, financed by the City of Vienna and initiated by the Roland Rainer Committee, was installed in 2009. The Chair aims at embedding and further developing Roland Rainer's ideas and values within the study programs of the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna. The Roland Rainer Visiting Chair maintains a productive dialogue with Vienna's city planning departments and professional and research communities committed to Roland Rainer's legacy.

The chair is dedicated to two main areas of education and research:

Investigating and defining the notion of habitat in order to promote the understanding of intricate relations between urban culture and dwelling, as well as developing urban visions, which address issues of contemporary society and contribute to position architecture and urban planning within a wider political, economic and ecological framework.