Hans Hollein (1934 – 2014) Austrian architect and designer

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Hans Hollein featured image
Hans Hollein featured image

Hans Hollein was an Austrian architect and designer who lived from 1934 to 2014. The Haas House and the Albertina expansion in Vienna’s inner city are two of his most renowned works.


Hollein was born in Vienna and graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna in 1956. He studied in Clemens Holzmeister’s master class. He studied at the Illinois Institute of Technology in 1959 and subsequently at the University of California, Berkeley. He earned his Master of Architecture degree in 1960. He met Mies van der Rohe, Frank Lloyd Wright, and Richard Neutra during this time. In 1963, he and Walter Pichler co-exhibited Architecture at Galerie nächst St. Stephan in St. Stephen Vienna, displaying their utopian architecture concepts. He worked for several architectural businesses in Sweden and the United States until returning to Vienna in 1964 and established his practice.

Early works by Hollein were small-scale designs, such as the Retti candle shop in Vienna, which had an anodised, aluminium front.

Hollein created a line of glasses for the American Optical Corps in 1972.

His 1981 Marilyn sofa produced by Poltronova and 1983 teaset by Alessi contributed to his popularity. He designed the 1981 Schwarzenberg briarwood table produced by Memphis; became known for combining traditional and industrial materials with a kitsch/Pop sensibility. From 1978, was the Austrian commissioner to Biennale di Venezia. Clients included Herman Miller, Knoll, Yamagiwa, Poltronova, Wittmann, American Optical Corporation, Cleto Munari, Swid Powell, and Baleri.


Hollein was a visiting lecturer at Washington University in St. Louis twice, in 1963–64 and 1966. He was also a visiting professor at Yale School of Architecture during this time. Between 1967 until 1976, he was a lecturer at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, after which he moved on to the University of Applied Arts Vienna as a professor.

Hollein was primarily an architect, but his work for the Memphis Group and the Alessi Company established him as a designer. In 1980, he designed the set for a Vienna Burgtheater performance of Arthur Schnitzler’s drama Komödie der Verführung (Comedy of Seduction). He also organised several shows, including one at the Venice Biennale. Hollein received the Pritzker Prize in 1985.

With his winning competition designs for the Abteiberg Museum in Mönchengladbach (1972–82) and an underground Guggenheim Museum branch in Salzburg, Hollein rose to international prominence (1989). Although the latter was never completed, his plans for an underground museum were realised at the Vulcania European Centre of Vulcanology in Auvergne, France, from 1997 to 2002.

Hollein began designing large-scale buildings in the late 1990s, including bank offices in Lichtenstein, Spain, and Peru. He began working at Hans Hollein & Partner ZT GmbH in 2010 with Ulf Kotz and Christoph Monschein.

Hollein died on April 24, 2014, in Vienna, following an extended illness at 80.


  • 1964–65 : Retti candle shop, Vienna, Austria
  • 1967–69 : Feigen Gallery, New York
  • 1972–74 : Schullin Jewellery shop, Vienna
  • 1972–82 : Abteiberg Museum Mönchengladbach
  • 1977–78 : Glass and Ceramics house, Teheran, Iran
  • 1979–90 : Ganztagsschule, Vienna
  • 1983–85 : Rauchstrasse apartments in Berlin, part of the International Building Exhibition
  • 1985–90 : Haas-Haus in Vienna
  • 1987–91 : Museum für Moderne Kunst in Frankfurt am Main
  • 1989 : Guggenheim (‘Museum im Mönchsberg’), Salzburg, Austria (unbuilt)
  • 1992–2002 : Niederösterreichisches Landesmuseum, St. Pölten, Austria
  • 1994–2000 : Generali Media Tower Donaukanal, Vienna
  • 1996–2001 : Austrian Embassy in Berlin
  • 1996–2000 : Interbank Headquarters, Lima, Peru
  • 1997–2002 : Centrum Bank in Vaduz, Liechtenstein, in collaboration with Bargetze+Partner
  • 1997–2002 : Vulcania – European Centre of Vulcanology in Auvergne, France
  • 2001–03 : Albertina Museum extension, Vienna
  • 2004–08 : Hilton hotel, Vienna
  • 2004–07 : Sea Mio, Apartment-Towers, Taipei, Taiwan
  • 2006–11 : Pezet 515, Lima


  • R. S. Reynolds Memorial Award endowed by the American Institute of Architects (1966 and 1984)
  • Prize for Architecture of the City of Vienna, (1974)
  • Grand Austrian State Prize for Architecture (1983)
  • Pritzker Architecture Prize (1985)
  • Austrian Decoration for Science and Art (1990)
  • Gold Decoration for Services to Vienna (1994)
  • Grand Merit Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany (1997)
  • Officer of the Legion of Honour (France, 2003)
  • Honorary Medal of the Austrian capital Vienna in Gold (2004)
  • Grand Decoration of Honour in Gold for Services to the Republic of Austria (2009)
  • Golden Rathausmann (2009)


Byars, M., & Riley, T. (2004). The design encyclopedia. Laurence King Publishing. https://amzn.to/3ElmSlL

Wikipedia contributors. (2021, August 23). Hans Hollein. In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 02:41, September 17, 2021, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Hans_Hollein&oldid=1040261675

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