Haus-Rucker-Co | Architekturutopie Reloaded

Exhibition at the Haus am Waldsee, Berlin, 2014/2015

The sense of awakening and buyoncy that characterised the 1960s gave way in the 1970s to horror scenarios of environmental pollution and cataclysms, which seemed to indicate that human survival sooner or later was only going to be possible with respirators and inside secluded reservations. Faith in technology and creativity remained high, however, sustaining hope that even these threats would be overcome.

In 1967 Haus-Rucker-Co set out in Vienna to work on a radically new concept of architecture. The three founders Laurids Ortner, Günter Zamp Kelp and Klaus Pinter were augmented in 1971 by Manfred Ortner and Carol Michaels. They had all just completed their academic degrees in Vienna. The group developed utopian objects for the purpose of expanding awareness and communication. Their interactive “Mind-Expander” as well as pneumatic air-structures caused quite a stir on the international scene at the end of the 1960s. These days the zany world (the Austrian term “Rucker” plays on the connotations of moving something along and being mad) of Haus-Rucker-Co is being taken up, quoted and developed further by such younger contemporaries as Tomás Saraceno, Hussein Chalayan, raumlaborberlin among others.

“Architectural Utopia Reloaded” scrutinises the innovative force Haus-Rucker-Co exerted between 1967 and 1977. The loans to the exhibition hail, for the most part, from the archives, since relocated to Berlin, of the founders and architects of HRC Günter Zamp Kelp and Ortner & Ortner. Walk-in pneumatic spaces, drawings, documentations and original film material convey an atmosphere of sustainable design that is as topical today as it was on the heights of the Space Age. The catalogue to the show traces the origins of the lab and space aesthetics of the 1960s all the way to the 2000s and thus the relevance of HRC today.

Curated by Katja Blomberg (Haus am Waldsee), Ludwig Engel and Günter Zamp Kelp (Haus-Rucker-Co).

haus am waldsee



All Photos © Roman März