Hadid, Gehry, and Others Fight to Save Helmut Richter’s Modernist Masterpiece

The Science Secondary School in Kinkplatz, Vienna is the work of late Modernist architect Helmut Richter. Considered to be his most iconic and enduring work, Richter’s school is now faced with partial demolition to make way for a conversion of the building’s use and architects from around the world are making an effort to prevent that demolition from happening. Influential individuals, from Zaha Hadid to Bernard Tschumi, have signed a petition voicing their dissent and demanding that Richter’s legacy be protected. See the details, and sign the petition, after the break.

Richter was particularly well-known for his work in glass, and the Kinkplatz school is a prime example of that interest. Completed in 1994, the two main wings of the school have walls and ceilings constructed in glass, as does the central gymnasium. The design is hailed as a masterpiece, and has proven to be a major influence in the work of Austrian architecture students (many of whom Richter taught). The public outcry over its possible destruction has been correspondingly severe.

The Helmut Richter Committee, formed by 23 architects including names like Frank Gehry and Steven Holl, issued a pledge last week declaring their “opposition to the legacy of Helmut Richter being in any way impaired or disfigured, or even demolished and replaced by new buildings.” This immediately preceded a public petition calling for the historic building’s preservation. To date that petition has over 400 signatures from across the globe.

Are you interested in adding your support to the Kinkplatz School’s preservation? Sign your name here, and read the full pledge from the Helmut Richter Committee below.

Reference: The Standard

Hadid, Gehry, and Others Fight to Save Helmut Richter's Modernist Masterpiece Science Secondary School in Kinkplatz, Vienna, Exterior. Image © Manfred Seidl
Hadid, Gehry, and Others Fight to Save Helmut Richter's Modernist Masterpiece Courtesy of Ana Berlin Communications
Hadid, Gehry, and Others Fight to Save Helmut Richter's Modernist Masterpiece Science Secondary School in Kinkplatz, Vienna, Assembly Hall. Image © Manfred Seidl
Hadid, Gehry, and Others Fight to Save Helmut Richter's Modernist Masterpiece Science Secondary School in Kinkplatz, Vienna, Facade Detail. Image © Manfred Seidl
Hadid, Gehry, and Others Fight to Save Helmut Richter's Modernist Masterpiece Science Secondary School in Kinkplatz, Vienna, Gymnasium. Image © Rupert Steiner

Hadid, Gehry, and Others Fight to Save Helmut Richter's Modernist Masterpiece originally appeared on ArchDaily, the most visited architecture website on 20 Nov 2014.

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