Zaha Hadid, Frank Gehry and Stephen Holl are among 23 architects from around the globe campaigning to protect Helmut Richter’s Kinkplatz school from ‘barbaric’ alterations
Bernard Tschumi, Bartlett lecturer Marcos Cruz, French architect Dominique Perrault and Coop Himmelb(l)au founder Wolf D Prix have also pledged to protect the late Austrian architects’ Vienna secondary school.
Dubbed the Helmut Richter Committee, the group claims planned alterations could see part of the iconic steel and glass structure – which features two wings and a central gymnasium – destroyed.
In a statement, the committee said: ‘Richter is one of the key architects of the architecture of late modernism. His secondary school on Kinkplatz in Vienna, which was completed in 1994, is one of Austria’s most important educational buildings.
‘At the time of Richter’s recent death politicians and the press lavished praise on his oeuvre and emphasized the importance of modern architecture; now, only a short time later, rumors of plans to demolish part of the school have alarmed the international architectural community.’
The group has instead urged ‘respectful and appreciative use’ of the building, claiming preservation is ‘essential’ in light of the architect’s ‘ground breaking’ influence.
The committee has launched an online petition which has so far received more than 170 signatures.
I trust that Helmut Richter’s legacy and memory will be preserved by the responsible authorities according to the highest standards. And I would like to unequivocally state my opposition to the legacy of Helmut Richter being in any way impaired or disfigured, or even demolished and replaced by new buildings.
With this, I also give consent for this petition, which I hereby sign, to be made public by the Helmut Richter Committee.
Hitoshi Abe, Los Angeles
Minsuk Cho, Seoul
Marcos Cruz, London
Peter Edner, Munich
Colin Fournier, Hong Kong
Kenneth Frampton, New York
Vittoria Garatti, Milan/Havan
Frank Gehry, Los Angeles
Zaha Hadid, London
Zvi Hecker, Berlin
Steven Holl, New York
Hubert Klumpner, Zurich
Greg Lynn, Los Angeles
Mark Mack, Los Angeles
Eric Owen Moss, Los Angeles
Dominique Perrault, Paris
Wolf D Prix, Vienna/Los Angeles
Michael Rotondi, Los Angeles
Bernard Tschumi, New York/Paris
Xu Weiguo, Beijing
Ma Yansong, Beijing
Silja Tillner, Vienna
Peter Noever, Vienna