Austrian architect Günther Domenig passed away on 15 June 2012. The designer was synonymous with expressionistic architecture to the point where his own home, Steinhaus, became an icon in its own right as Domenig practiced his artistic pursuits on his residence. In response to his passing, Wolf D. Prix, founder of Coop Himmelb(l)au, has released the following statement:
“On YouTube the famous American Rapper Ice Cube can be viewed while he is explaining the Eames House in LA in a competent way. I am questioning myself, whether a similar scene would be possible in Austria: DJ Ötzi or the Trackshittaz explain Günther Domenig’s Steinhaus. Answer: no.
“The word ‘important’ as preliminary stage to being a star is used in an inflationary way today. Nevertheless I insist that Günther Domenig was one of the most important Austrian architects. Important in terms of being weighty.
“In my opinion the former Z-Bank branch in the Favoritenstraße in Vienna was one of his best buildings. Long before the convoluted computer architects started using parametric tools to give their lame design a boost, Domenig had not only designed the first three dimensional facade, but actually built it, too.
“Himself, he has never differed from architecture and art, has been able to achieve a building that is uncompromising - located in the baroque thought - creating expressive space sequences and therefore connotes an important contribution to the Austrian Architecture. It’s amazing, that this building has only been possible in a peripheral district, and not in the city center of Vienna.”