CLAD people

Wolf Prix architect

CEO Coop Himmelb(l)au


Wolf Prix, the design principal and CEO of Austrian architecture studio Coop Himmelb(l)au has slammed design competitions, arguing they “diminish the value of our thinking.”

In a frank talk about the state of the industry and the challenges of tomorrow, made at the World Architecture Festival in Berlin, Prix claimed that “to make a competition is a very stupid thing.”

“I repeat myself a thousand times, but can you imagine 100 or 200 surgeons having to prove they can perform heart surgery, without getting any money?” he said. “Only the stupid architects are doing it. I read in the newspaper recently an investor said ‘I’m happy to have competitions because I get 100 ideas for free.’”

Expanding on the point later in the talk, Prix continued: “I don’t want to work for nothing. It is a diminishing of the value of our thinking. And anonymous competition contributions are making architects slaves to money.

“One of my former students won a competition, and I calculated with him what he will gain after five years. It turns out he will make a loss of E200,000. That means he has to do everything a client wants to pay this back.”

Prix also used the platform to talk about the role of architects more widely.

“As architects, we think we save the client and that we can walk on water. But I haven’t seen an architect who could walk on water. Or we think we’re supporting the whole world on our shoulders. No way. We are really like Chaplin, because the invisible aspects of architecture are suppressing our ideas.”

Prix, and Coop Himmelb(l)au, are known for their boundary-pushing projects featuring structural, abstract forms, such as the Museum of Contemporary Art and Planning Exhibition (MOCAPE) in Shenzhen, China, which opened in October 2016. The House of Bread, a museum and events centre for Austrian bread company Backaldrin, is due to open in Asten, northern Austria, this year.

Gallery
Click on an image to open the image gallery
company profile
Company profile: Barr + Wray Ltd
Founded in 1959, Barr + Wray is recognised as a world-leading provider of spa design, engineering and pool & spa equipment.
Try cladmag for free!
Sign up with CLAD to receive our regular ezine, instant news alerts, free digital subscriptions to CLADweek, CLADmag and CLADbook and to request a free sample of the next issue of CLADmag.
sign up
The buildings provide a strong visual contrast with their surroundings landscape
Peter Zumthor created three buildings at the site of the old Allmannajuvet zinc mines
"The designs portray the drudgery and strenuous nature of miners’ daily lives"

On his zinc mine museum in Norway

The arches were designed to create the sense that the scenery flows through the library
Toyo Ito was born in Seoul in 1941. He studied architecture at the University of Tokyo
"I have one dream with my work. Architecture should equal nature"

The Pritzker Prize-winner talks about inspiration, battling bureaucracy and the Tokyo National Olympic Stadium saga with Kim Megson

Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
To advertise in our catalogue gallery: call +44(0)1462 431385
features
Architecture and mindfulness: Ben Channon
Ben Channon
"I hope architects gain a genuine understanding of how buildings and spaces affect our mental wellbeing and how their design can be tailored towards making people happier and healthier"

Ben Channon has written Happy by Design, a new book about how architecture affects our mental health. He explains how we can all be happier at home

Profile: Caroline Bos
Bos studied history of art in London and urban and regional planning at the University of Utrecht, Netherlands
"I like art that is against the mainstream, slightly off, with a twist"

UNStudio’s co-founder on the unexpected challenges of designing Australia’s tallest skyscraper

Deep Ocean Technology’s Water Discus underwater hotel
"The Norwegian coast inhabits such beauty"

The world’s most ambitious underwater buildings

The Berkeley recently unveiled its new RSHP-designed façade, which is part of a wider redesign of the hotel
Richard Rogers partner RSHP
"Leisure space is at the very root of democracy. We have to defend our public spaces"

On defending our public spaces

The oculus marks the passage of time – at noon a full circle of sunlight appears on the ground
"We want this museum to be modern while at the same time referencing China’s strong history in astronomy"

Ennead partner Thomas Wong tells us how he looked to the skies for inspiration for the winning Shanghai Planetarium design

cladkit product news
CSI Design Expo Americas 2024 announces new Attractions & Entertainment Technology Zone
The event will allow buyers and suppliers to meet
Magali Robathan
Cruise Ship Interiors (CSI) invites cruise lines, shipyards, design studios, outfitters, and suppliers to take part in CSI Design Expo ...
Eco Resort Network conference to convene in Mauritius this May
The event will be hosted in the Mauritius in 2024
Megan Whitby
Hospitality industry event Eco Resort Network is set to take place at the Ravenala Attitude Hotel, Turtle Bay, Mauritius, from ...
Alberto Apostoli and Newform collaborate to launch the A.Zeta showerhead
The showerhead offers two modes; rainfall or waterfall
Megan Whitby
Italian architect Alberto Apostoli has renewed his partnership with Newform – an Italian wellness company – and designed A.Zeta. A.Zeta ...
cladkit product news
Codelocks develops new glass door smart lock
The new lock model allows facilities and building managers to create and manage access via an app or online portal
Megan Whitby
Codelocks has launched its first glass door smart lock to bring intelligent access control to modern spa, leisure, fitness and ...
Siminetti unveils iridescent decorative panelling range inspired by plants
The Clematis design
Megan Whitby
The Botanicals is Siminetti’s newest Mother of Pearl decorative panelling collection, inspired by the distinctive patterns found in botany and ...
Alberto Apostoli designs tech-forward Wellness Therapy furniture collection for Varaschin
The furniture collection draws on absolute geometries, pure lines, neutral colours and strong references to nature
Megan Whitby
Furniture manufacturer Varaschin has unveiled the new Wellness Therapy range, designed by Italian spa and wellness architect and designer Alberto ...
cladkit product news
Mather & Co and ITV unite to create Coronation Street Experience
Mather & Co has transformed the visitor centre into the ultimate haven for ardent Coronation Street viewers
Magali Robathan
Experience designers, Mather & Co, have orchestrated a remarkable collaboration with ITV to unveil the new Coronation Street Experience, a ...
Koto Design introduces wood-fired hot tub
Koto is known for crafting modular, energy-neutral cabins and homes
Katie Barnes
A striking wood-fired hot tub has been unveiled by Koto, an architecture and design studio which has a passion for ...
Eden project uses drones to spell out climate change warning
Magali Robathan
Almost 300 drones were used to signal an environmental message above the Eden Project’s biomes, during the UN Climate Change ...