Import – Export | An Exchange between Vienna and England

David Kohn Architects - Sanderson House, Extension to a Victorian house in the form of a fox, North London, 2014 – © Will Pryce


Liechtensteinstraße 46a/2/5
1090 Wien



Innenwelten, Milieus, Stadtpartikel

In 1926, Josef Frank published an essay entitled “Vienna’s modern architecture prior to 1914.” In it he tries to sketch a comprehensive picture of the development of Viennese architecture, from the (imaginary) Romans to his contemporaries: juxtaposing what is considered 'Viennese' with the outside influences that shaped it, comparing (unspecified) other places and approaches with a 'Viennese' way of doing things. One of the imported approaches Frank name-checks is English residential architecture, used by a whole generation of (not only) Viennese architects as a guide to the (relatively) novel form of the villa and the bourgeois interior.
As with many of Frank’s essays, the position of the writer towards his subject is ambiguous, and almost a hundred years have passed since. Nonetheless, the topics he touches upon inform the work of Hermann Czech and David Kohn and our perception of it. Among the questions to be discussed: What role does site specificity play in your work? What methods do you employ to achieve a desired effect? How do you go from determining what a local tradition is to working with it or within it? How do you transfer local traditions or approach foreign ones? What pitfalls must be avoided? Does Josef Frank’s definition of kitsch still hold true?

Guests: Hermann Czech, Architect/Vienna and David Kohn, Architect/London

Moderated by: Claudia Cavallar and Elise Feiersinger, Austrian Society for Architecture

Zoom link: Website


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