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Wolfgang Tschapeller wins the 2020 European Prize for Architecture

Wolfgang Tschapeller has been selected as this year’s 2020 European Prize for Architecture Laureate

Wolfgang Tschapeller
Wolfgang Tschapeller

Wolfgang Tschapeller has been selected as this year’s 2020 European Prize for Architecture Laureate, announced Christian Narkiewicz-Laine, architecture critic and President/CEO of The Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design, which co-sponsors the award that has become to be known internationally as Europe’s highest honor.

Wolfgang Tschapeller’s works are stunning, dense, multifarious, complex, and remarkable achievements of the highest complexity,” states Narkiewicz-Laine, “that complement the longstanding history of the craft and mastery of the architectural form and purpose; balancing strength and delicacy and upholding the reverence for pursuing the intellectual qualities inherent in design that has made architecture, as the ancient Greeks believed, the first and highest art form.

This is a rare practitioner of the utmost intellect and vision; and although he has regretfully to date built so very little, his works are much grander designs and ideals and much larger visions of what the most pure and virtuous architectural idea can truly achieve.”

He designs with exemplary, uncompromising radicalism, turning with daring virtuosity even the most insignificant project, from a house to an urban plaza, into a startling and elaborate Utopian vision. He never compromises in his intellectual approach for unflawed perfection."

European Prize Architecture 2020 -Block 39 Masterplan Belgrade 2012
Block 39 Masterplan Belgrade 2012

Organized by The Chicago Athenaeum, together with The European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies, The European Prize for Architecture is given annually to any living architect whose built work exemplifies the highest ideals of European civilization and embodies vision, commitment, and a profound respect for humanity and for the social and physical environment.

The European Prize for Architecture is not a “lifetime of achievement award,” but rather serves as an impetus to support new ideas, to encourage and foster more challenge-making and forward-thinking about buildings and the environment, and to prompt the pushing of the envelope to obtain an even greater, more profound result.

Previous Laureates include: Bjarke Ingels (Denmark); Graft Architects (Germany); TYIN Architects (Norway; Marco Casagrande (Finland); Alessandro Mendini (Italy); Santiago Calatrava (Spain/Switzerland); LAVALaboratory for Visionary Architecture (Germany); Manuelle Gautrand (France); and Sergei Tchoban (Russia/Germany).

Nationalbibliothek Prag, 2006
Nationalbibliothek Prag, 2006

About Wolfgang Tschapeller - winner of the 2020 European Prize for Architecture

Wolfgang Tschapeller was born in Dölsach, Austria in 1956 and initially trained as a carpenter. He studied architecture at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna and at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, USA and received a Master of Architecture degree in 1987. He has taught as a visiting professor at Cornell University, the University of Art and Design in Linz, Austria, and the State University of New York in Buffalo, New York where, in 2004/2005, he was named a McHale Fellow. Since 2005, he has been a professor of architecture at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna.

Single Family House St Joseph, Niederösterreich, Austria, 2007
Single Family House St Joseph, Niederösterreich, Austria, 2007

He has also served as the Head of the Institute of Art and Architecture in Vienna since 2012. In 2014, he was Research Fellow at the University of New South Wales, Australia and in 2015 Visiting professor at Cornell University. In 2019, Wolfgang Tschapeller was re-elected as Head of the Institute of Art and Architecture at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna.His firm Wolfgang Tschapeller ZT GmbH., based in Vienna, was opened in 2007. In 2012, he created a branch office in Belgrade.

As a researcher, he has published numerous books and catalogues.In 2012, he collaborated with Simon Oberhammer, Christina Jauernik, Bork Franz Kropatschek, and Mark Balzar to produce the Austrian Pavilion for the Venice Biennale. The work, entitled “Hands have no tears to flow. Reports from / without Architecture” invites visitors to comprehend architecture as a social and cultural phenomenon and to experience it from different perspectives and views. The exhibit grounds itself in a liminal space between architecture, sciencem, and art. It combines scientific achievements, associated with the human body, with an architectural design of the future.

The exhibit places Architecture as a motor and mirror of society with the human body as the central figure.In 2020, his firm name changed to Wolfgang Tschapeller Architect.

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