Search Results

You searched for coop himmelb(l)au and we found the following...

Coop Himmelb(l)au Q/A part 2

Currently, Coop Himmelb(l)au is one of the most frequently used search terms to find this website. So it’s no surprise to me people want to learn more about this Vienna based architecture company. Back in July, I answered several questions about this internship at CHBL. Today, it’s time for part two. This time I’ll answer Antonio’s questions (which I received via email).

What are tasks interns usually do?

This totally depends on the team and status of the project. If you work on competitions a lot, this could involve model making. In my case, I worked on a project which was in the preliminary phase. So I made many diagrams, presentation books, et cetera. In other teams, the tasks can be more technical. Coop Himmelb(l)au assigns you to a team based on your own experiences/qualities and the job interview you (probably) had.

Were there many interns and young people besides you?

Yep. Coop Himmelb(l)au hires many young people. When I was in Vienna, I joined a group of interns who usually teamed up for lunch and/or spend evenings together.

What was the most remarkable thing that happened during your internship?

Hehe, good question. This probably is the evening we had an important deadline. We worked with about six people on a design which had to bee finished before 8AM (yep, 8AM, not PM). Halfway through the evening Wolf Prix joined us. Although he spoke German the entire time, I understood everything he said. Which surprised me, since I’m not so fluent in German. After a while, he made a joke so I joked back… in German. He looked at me… and asked an architect who I was. She told him I was an intern from the Netherlands. After which he spoke to me in a language I didn’t understand. It sounded a lot like German, but it just wasn’t. And he left. So I asked the architect what Wolf Prix said. She told me he imitated my Dutch accent by speaking weird German…

How many hours did you usually work during a typical day?

In the example described above, I worked from 8AM to 3AM the following day (so 19 hours in total). But that only happened once. Mostly I arrived at 9AM and worked until 7 or 8PM.

Are they flexible in general? I mean, decisions, schedules, etc…

You can do many things besides your daily tasks. And the office/team can be very flexible… As long as you meet your deadlines. Sometimes the partner-in-charge has a meeting with a client (which mostly happens abroad, since it’s a very international company). In my case, the main architect was in Azerbaijan a lot. During those days our team played catch-up or relaxed a bit. After two or three of those days, the architect would return. And with him, many new tasks and project changes we had to take care of.

What was the best experience you could say that you got from here?

I did several internships in the past. Each of those internships differed completely from this one. Why? It’s the size of the company (about 150 employees), the number and size of projects abroad and their own invented architecture style (Deconstructivism). Also the fact that founder Wolf D. Prix still works at this company adds something special to the experience (as described above). And perhaps I should mention Vienna is a beautiful city and great to live in. But this all gets trumped by the people. Imagine 150 creative people trying to design the most awesome, craziest and sometimes weirdest projects possible. In my first week, I met people from Germany, the USA, Azerbaijan, Greece, Turkey, Britain, China, Denmark, Portugal, Spain… should I go on? It took me several days to meet the first native Austrian employee… So meeting all those people with completely different backgrounds and learn from them (while having fun) was the best experience I got!

chbl

Coop Himmelb(l)au Q/A

Sometimes readers of this blog ask questions about previous blog posts and my previous experiences. This time it’s a question about me being an intern at Vienna based architecture firm Coop Himmelb(l)au. I could answer the inquirer by email, but by answering his questions on this blog I might help other people. Here’s our Q/A…

How’s the experience?

In one word: Fantastic! In the past I worked for several architecture firms. But non of them employed over 150 employees (which is pretty big for an architecture firm!). And none of them had projects all over the world (ranging from the United States to China and from Azerbaijan to Albania). Also the fact that one of the founders, Wolf D. Prix, still works at this company adds something special to the experience. Wether you’d agree with his design philosophies or not, it is awesome to learn (first hand) from such a worldwide renowned architect! And to quote a colleague: “It is fantastic to work for a company who invented their own architecture style”. And this is actually true (check Wikipedia!).

How’s the work environment?

Very special. Each project will comprise a small team of 5-10 people. Within such a team you’ll make friends really soon. Since stakes are high, people sometimes often make long days, but are thoroughly motivated. This adds to the ‘energy’ inside the office. There are models, concept renderings and drawings all over the place!

What kind of projects did you work on?

Big projects! That’s all I can say. I’m sorry! Everyone working with Coop Himmelb(l)au has to sign a non-disclosure agreement. Since my projects aren’t even mentioned on their website (or anywhere else on the web), I’m not allowed to tell you a single thing about the projects I worked on.

What software did you use?

AutoCAD and Rhino for the 2D and 3D drawings. Also I used Photoshop and InDesign a lot.

To conclude: Perhaps the best thing at doing an internship at this (or probably any other) company is you’ll get the chance to meet so many interesting and fascinating people. And you’ll work on fascinating projects worldwide, while you live and work in the old and classic city of Vienna.

chbl

Internship @ Coop Himmelb(l)au

During my undergraduate studies I wanted to do an internship at a large international architecture firm. In 2010 I reached this goal by working for Vienna based company Coop Himmelb(l)au.

Deconstructivist Architecture

Coop Himmelb(l)au was founded in 1986. It’s an architecture firm primarily located in Vienna, Austria. The company was founded by Wolf D. Prix, Helmut Swiczinsky and Michael Holzer. It gained international acclaim alongside Peter Eisenman, Zaha Hadid and Frank Gehry with the 1988 exhibition “Deconstructivist Architecture” at MoMA.

Perhaps the coolest thing about Coop Himmelb(l)au is the fact they have their own style. I mean, they practically invented deconstructivism and they’re proud of it. And why wouldn’t they!

During the course of the internship I worked on several great projects. Believe me, it’s kinda special to work on skyscrapers worth over 200 million Euros (290 million USD).

Controlled Chaos

According to Wikipedia, the architectural style of Deconstructivism is characterized by ideas of fragmentation. The finished visual appearance is characterized by a stimulating unpredictability and a controlled chaos. This is also true for one of the projects I was working on… controlled chaos.

Unfortunately I can’t share any information of the project I was working on, although I already wrote it’s a skyscraper. A soon as the project hits the website of Coop Himmelb(l)au, I’ll also post it here. In the mean time, I’ll share some photos of the beautiful city of Vienna.

The Austrian Parliament

The statue of Athena in front of the Austrian Parliament

View of the world famous Schönbrunn Palace

Hofburg Theater

The Hundertwasserhaus

St. Stephen’s Cathedral (Stephansdom) at Stephansplatz

The Votive Church (Votivkirche)

Inside the Austrian Parliament

Inside the Wiener Musikverein

City Hall

The ferris wheel (Riesenrad) at Prater park

‘Roman’ Ruin at Schönbrunn (erected in 1778)

View of the world famous Schönbrunn Palace during winter time

I just realized I didn’t include pictures of the Hofburg Palace, State Opera, The Johan Strauss Monument or St. Charles’s Church, to name a view. Maybe Vienna has too many monuments?!

chbl

Chess Academy Baku

Wolf Prix is well known for its incomprehensible sketches. And I was fortunate enough to be around when he made one for the Baku Chess Academy. Before we continue, first some background info. The same client of the Central Bank project happened to be involved with chess as well. He wanted the best chess academy and commissioned Wolf Prix, founder of Vienna architecture firm Coop Himmelb(l)au, for the project.

I briefly worked on this project and saw Wolf Prix when he sketched out his vision. This is what it looked like:

It took the team several weeks, ultimately they came up with this:

I guess the Central Bank of Azerbaijan was designed the same way? Maybe clichés about architects are true after all.

chbl

Central Bank Azerbaijan

“And here’s the Non Disclosure Agreement”, simultaneously, she presented me with a piece of paper which I had to sign. Otherwise, my stay at Vienna architecture firm Coop Himmelb(l)au would be very short lived.

The Non Disclosure Agreement prevented me from including three CHBL projects in my portfolio and blog. But… finally I’m allowed to share one of the projects with you. In fact, it’s the project I worked on most. It’s a skyscraper located in Baku, Azerbaijan. And this is not just any building, it’s the Central Bank of Azerbaijan headquarters.

During the course of three months, I worked on countless floor plans, exterior views, some elevations, the vault, the bank president’s office (including a private elevator) and much more.

Read more about the project on the Coop Himmelb(l)au website.