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The Architecture of

Editing assistant

Arkan Zeytinoglu
Manuela Htzl
Michael Hasslacher

Office team

Jakub Bruer, Petra Gschanes, Brigitte Marschall
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Florian Medicus, Wolfgang Pauser, Dietmar Steiner

J. Roderick ODonovan, David Ender (Editorial)
Andrea Lyman

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Manuela Htzl

Geometry in the Spotlight


Arkan Zeytinoglu

The Geometry of my Space and the Position of the Eye



The Projective House


Florian Medicus

On Useful Doubts



The House with the two Horizons



Wolfgang Pauser

A Story Between Day and Night



Light and Darkness


Wolfang Pauser

Concepts of Reason



Light and Darkness

Housing Mantschehofgasse
Condensed City
Space Installation Z-VZ


Dietmar Steiner in conversation with Arkan Zeytinoglu

There is no Such Thing as Abstract Architecture



Bar Italia
Restaurant Do & Co Albertina
City on the River Mur
Courthouse Graz West
Courthouse Klagenfurt
bwin Lounge
bwin Sportsbar
Penthouse S
The Austrian Pavilion at the EXPO 2010 Shanghai
Hotel Rural La Donaira
Restaurant Glacis Beisl
Hotel White Rock
Business Hotel Kiev
Hotel Falkensteiner Carinzia
Business Hotel Leoben
Hotel Acquapura Funimation
Rooftop MH1
Sky Ofce Sperl
Penthouse FILL15
Rooftop HOMA
Center of Research and Technology Flak Tower
Convention Center St. Marx
Obscura 360
Jewelry Design Max
University of Economics and Business
Integrated Resorts Singapore


List of Works
Team Members
Image Credits
About Arkan Zeytinoglu



Dwelling for the Light

Dwelling for the light
going invisible lling up the space
where it stays
disappearing in my mind
not looking but seeing
when I close my eyes
and just listen to the colors
till it gets so dark
being mean


Manuela Htzl

Geometry in the Spotlight

Works by Arkan Zeytinoglu

Geometry is both ideal image and abstract order, which is given a reciprocal
embodiment in architecture through constructed image and material form. 1
The book on hand illuminates the work of the Turkish-descent architect
Arkan Zeytinoglu under the aspect of geometrized light: drawings,
studies of space, landscapes, projects and buildings from 1995 until
today (2011) are shown in this light of geometry, Arkan Zeytinoglus
source of inspiration. Geometry in connection with architecture is no
surprising term nor has it been a fashionable one since the last hype
in the 1990s when the computer became an important instrument of a
new formal design. It facilitated calculating new geometries, leaving the
architect behind as a drawing constructor. Command and understanding
of geometry, ever a vital matter for architects, ceased to be a necessity.
Responsibility for the design was transferred to the drawing tool
computer, thus bringing architecture as a whole into a conflict of authority.
In his essay, A Machine Epistemology in Architecture;2 Andrew J. Witt
describes design techniques in connection with the development of tools
and instruments, rightfully maintaining that such machines (including
computers) raise certain epistemic challenges: they abstract systems
and detach the user from operative logic. Consequently, if the computer
takes over the act of designing, more instrumental and less design
knowledge is required from the architect. According to this, architecture
no longer is on the hunt for geometry as science and inspiration, as
Peter Davidson and Donald L. Bates describe it in the magazine
Architectural Design of 19983, but they observe each other from
a distance. Architecture and geometry have disengaged from their
inspiring, centuries-old embrace. With this detached view of geometry
and form finding, architecture also has lost something: the pleasure of
designing as a whole, encompassing action. Moreover, this also makes
drawing irrelevant. Jeffrey Kipnis declares the collage as the best (and
logical) depiction of a heterogeneous, postmodern architecture which now
has been replaced by a rendering generation. These new architects are
not searching for a representation of actual space but trying to
adapt reality to the virtual perfection however, thats another story.
Along with the loss of pleasure in design and drawing as a process, the
relationship of architecture and geometry has also given up its emotional,
passionate character.

Peter Davidson and Donald L. Bates, Editorial, in AD, Architectural Design, Architecture after Geometry (February 1998) p. 7.
Andrew J. Witt, A Machine Epistemology in Architecture, Encapsulated Knowledge and the Instrumentation of Design,
in: Candide Journal for Architectural Knowledge (No. 3/2010) p. 37.


Davidson and Bates also define this relationship as promise of

fulfillment, and they describe it enthusiastically: This emotive relationship
exhibits all the tendencies of interpersonal psychologies: infatuation,
transference, dependency and a faith in the transcendentality of
consummation. It is registered by three stages: lust, attraction
and attachment.
Geometry of Light is a personal statement, and an emotional one. For
Arkan Zeytinoglu, the basis of his work is still intuition, and the effort of
constantly reinventing space as a construct. For him, geometry is
the projection plane, the structure of an experimental set-up: planes
become space, oscillation ratios turn into spatial axes, and cross-sections
into landscapes.
As Dietmar Steiner, director of the Architectural Center Vienna, observes
in an interview with Arkan Zeytinoglu, he is an old-fashioned architect,
whose autonomous artistic position regarding content should be
treated with respect. With Geometry of Light, Arkan Zeytinoglu not only
clarifies his (personal) position but also attempts to reinstate geometry
as an image of a sensate world. Geometry of Light studies the
concept of space in design, which develops out of geometry rather than
with it. Light is animation (movement) of the spatial. Light localizes and
characterizes physical space. Light simultaneously is the constant and the
temporal of architecture.
Geometry of Light outlines the history of a relationship between
architecture, light and geometry. The drawings clearly hint at
Arkan Zeytinoglus influences during his years of study at TU Graz
and the Cooper Union in New York with tutors like Gnther Domenig,
Raimund Abraham and John Hejduk. All three of them have presented
strong concepts of architecture on paper, and thus imbued the project
with a reality which sometimes even stood above its realization. The
magnificent gestures of Domenig, Abrahams shadow world and
Hejduks poetry are necessary if one wants to understand Arkans drawn
The Cubists disassembled the object in order to approach its inner being.
A single point of view is not enough to depict a space; so Geometry
of Light allows many points of view and invites authors to think about
geometry and light. Architect and curator Florian Medicus documents his


basic doubts in the topic, underlining the courage to use the tools of the
trade and his love for the drawing in architecture. Cultural philosopher
Wolfgang Pauser elaborates the importance of light in architecture, and
in his second essay explains the long history of the relation of geometry
and architecture. And in a conversation with Arkan, Dietmar Steiner
asks him about his motivations for becoming an architect, and about his
relationship with music
The book Geometry of Light tells a story Arkan Zeytinoglus story ,
but it also tries to retrace the relationship of geometry, architecture, and
light, and to point out their various influences on science and philosophy.
Still, the question remains what the role of this relationship is today, not
only for Arkan Zeytinoglu.


Arkan Zeytinoglu

The Geometry of my Space and

the Position of the Eye

I dont search for the content of architecture through the abstraction of the
score. I dont need this story board to develop architecture. For me it is
the perception of music when played that is of primary importance, the kind
of sound-space that it constructs. And I find that this sound-space is extremely
graphic. Vice-versa the geometry of spaces produces a sound for me.
From this sound, i.e. out of these tones, geometries are constructed which are
indeed related to mathematics that together with proportion shapes/create
spaces. And this is how the design of the D-House developed D stands for
D major which, looking back, I might perhaps see as a condensate of this
approach. But then other abstract dimensions of architecture are also involved.
There is the light, the construction, the horizon, the perception of space in
perspective which is related to the position of the eye. And out of all these
influences and determining factors the design for my 'first house' arose. That
was the start and it was an attempt to define myself. To find an answer to the
question: where does the form, the geometry of my architecture come from?

Arkan Zeytinoglu (quotation from the interview with Dietmar Steiner: There is no such thing as abstract
architecture. On the career of an architect. An encounter, see p. 132)



The Catcher in the Rays

Architecture is frozen music.
Arthur Schopenhauer

Architecture and music have a long joint history. From ancient times
the theory of proportions in architecture and of harmony in music has
dealt with relationships and ideals. The projective house is based on
the idea of geometrizing music and giving spatial form to a relationship
between vibrations. The interstitial space that results is constructed in
projective space.
In Euclidean geometry the definition is as follows: two straight lines are
parallel if they lie on the one plane and do not intersect each other and:
parallel lines intersect in infinity. If one expands Euclidean space into
a projective space the projective house can be understood as an
approach to the infinite horizon, a projective depiction as affinity
between Euclidean and projective space. An architecture made of rays of
light in D major.

Projective geometry is an area of geometry. It evolved from the

perspective depiction of three dimensional objects in a two dimensional
plane. In contrast to standard Euclidean geometry there are no parallels
in projective geometry. 1
1, entry tr. J.R. ODonovan


D-House, 1986
pencil on paper, 29.6 x 21 cm


Florian Medicus

On Useful Doubts
It seems strange, having arrived at the end of a project, to still feel traces
of the doubts you had experienced when starting it. After all, every
examination of a theme should at least attempt to remove doubts, and
indeed should aim, as far as possible, to dispel them. Far too much
nonsense has been written already, designed, built and sung for payment,
for me to embark upon an allegedly decisive introduction to
Arkan Zeytinoglus Geometry of Light. No, dear ladies and gentlemen,
you can rest assured that I really had to slave away! In fact, initially I
rejected the claim implicit in the title and with it the far too constructed
aspect. This urge to fabricate a theory based on a practice that was, in
any case, already successful. However, this fact should not be seen as an
attempt to diminish its possible value but should be welcomed as an
occasion for everyone to engage in self-examination: what, I ask you,
do the terms geometry and light actually mean to us and how might
a causal link, in the sense of the geometry of light be undertaken,
logically and (ideally) entertainingly? Lets start with the big words:
geometry and light. These are certainly difficult concepts and ones
which, I believe, should not be used lightly. Most likely everyone, whether
through ignorance or partial knowledge of the factual material, has
an oddly clear image, an actual idea of the purpose.

But what, in fact, is geometry, what can it do, what does it want to do?
An area forming part of mathematics that developed from studying the
characteristics and contents of the physical space that surrounds us, as
well as the form of spatial and plane formations and calculations
of lengths, surfaces and contents of figures.1 This is a translation of the
definition in my dear fathers Brockhaus encyclopedia. It may
initially sound coherent but, like almost everything that at first sounds
coherent, it subsequently seems unsatisfactory. Consequently, I try to
encourage myself with the beautiful Ludwig W., i.e. I attempt to separate
the complex into its elements.2

If geometry deals with the characteristics and, above all, the facts of the
physical space that surrounds us, i.e. if it can be not only thought of but also
depicted, then at least we can form an image of it.
Excellent! That in itself is something. But, whether light is a fact that is
essentially immanent to space, i.e. of equal value, is something that I
question at this point. As we know, there are many spatial conditions

Geometrie in Brockhaus Enzyklopdie, 19th ed., vol. 8 (Mannheim, 1989), entry tr. J.R. ODonovan.
Ludwig Wittgenstein, Tractatus logico-philosophicus, 2.0201 (Frankfurt/Main: Suhrkamp, 1997), p. 13, quote tr. J.R. ODonovan.


that have to manage entirely without light. While this lack may not make
geometry any more pleasing/any easier, it does not (yet) mean
that it cannot be imagined. The idea that no light is just a tragic (because
underexposed), special form of light, i.e. a form of electromagnetic
radiation that is not perceptible and therefore not perceived which,
although it can itself exist in space cannot make the geometry of space
perceptible (at least not visually), seems of as little help as the bizarre
formulation of wave-particle duality, i.e. the theoretical formulation
of light quanta (photons) with curious wave characteristics. Wave-particle
duality is also one of those historically loaded facts if we wish
to continue using this term which, whenever the opportunity arises,
I refuse to understand, pleading insufficient mental capacity. Now
Einstein, as well as Heisenberg, Schrdinger and Bohr were only able to
think their theories of relativity or quantum mechanics on the basis of
non-Euclidean geometry (sic!), and, as a result, substantially expanded
the way of looking at things and the course they took.

The change of paradigms initially represented by the 20th century is very

clearly based on the sudden independence of the geometric structure
of time and space from material. This put an end not only to the 19th century,
which was indecisive in so many areas, but also to the certainty of things,
such as Kant had seen in Newtons mechanics.
The inherently definite ideas of space dissolved, not only because they
suddenly could, but because overnight, so to speak, they had become
vulnerable and, even more fatally, inadequate as certainties.
Those interested in what this implies for the general view of the world
and, as a direct consequence, for the visual arts (various avant-gardes!)
are encouraged to read up on this elsewhere. The architects were, in any
case, still asleep
But to go back further: the world view conveyed in Euclids Elements
survived as a collection of absolute truths for a long time, for over 2000
years. Clearly the original 13 books were too complete, too coherent, too
beautiful, and in short too good for them not to be true. Alongside
various mathematical postulates, they divide geometry logically into
plane geometry and spatial geometry (towards the end); the last book
about spatial geometry proves that there are and can be only five
regular Platonic solids. At first it may not sound all that exciting if the
essential difference between Euclidean and non-Euclidean geometry is


initially defined as the fact that in the latter the parallel axiom does not
(any longer) exist. But precisely this was the decisive step, the fruitful
questioning of certainties undertaken around the same time by
Nikolai Ivanovitch Lobachevsky and Jnos Bolyai, and then generalized
by Bernhard Reimann in 1845.

From the mid-19th century onwards the repertoire of spatial facts

was truly shaken up and as a result a non-Euclidean geometry became
generally conceivable, provided there was a suitable number of
dimensions, a suitable system of coordinates and a suitable method to
determine distances.3
At first this knowledge was of little help in the 19th century, which in any
case lacked real intellectual footing. Given that this is an architectural
text perhaps I ought to mention here the misgivings of Gottfried Semper
who, around this time, did his utmost to oppose the new kinds of iron
construction, not to mention the neo-Gothic. And, I also find it somewhat
amusing to note that, at around the same time as Lobachevskys
and Bolyais non-Euclidean proofs, a certain Joseph Nicphore Nipce
succeeded in producing his first heliograph (1826), that is for the first
time in the history of humankind geometry could be permanently depicted
solely by means of light.
But of course we could take an entirely different approach: for in the
beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was
without form and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And
the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let
there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was
good: and God divided the light from the darkness.4

The greatest of all architects wanted to see what he had created without
form and void and so, on the very first day, he let it become light.
An understandable decision and an excellent one; and didnt the second
greatest architect write: Our eyes are created to see forms in light! 5
So there you have it! And, around 1150, wasnt it said loud and clear:
God is light! And light was conveyed as wandering along the traces
of God become man6 and thus as a very central characteristic of
scholastic aesthetics? In the Gothic we see the building mass dissolving

Peter Tallack, Meilensteine der Wissenschaft (Heidelberg-Berlin: Spektrum Verlag, 2002), p. 114, quote tr. J.R. ODonovan
Genesis 1: 14, King James Bible online version http://
Le Corbusier, Bauwelt Fundamente 2 Ausblick auf eine Architektur, (Braunschweig: Vieweg, 1995), p. 21, quote tr. J.R. ODonovan.
Georges Duby, Die Zeit der Kathedralen, Kunst und Gesellschaft 9801420 (Frankfurt/Main: Suhrkamp, 1992), p. 218, quote tr. J.R. ODonovan.


for the first time; naturally, these geometries also represent a slimming
down of the load-bearing system for economic reasons, as well as being
insane monuments to the vanity of princes of the church, but they also
pursue the clear binding goal to allow more and above all better light
to flood the interior. The idea of light and the right way of directing it
determines the (at times terrifyingly delicate) geometries of
Gothic cathedrals [a word of advice: its best to look at them from
outside, on account of the horizontal forces]. And dont we find similar
(but of course entirely different) approaches in the work of James Turrell
(ladies and gentlemen let us rise from our seats!)? It is precisely
James Turrell who repeatedly shows us such fantastic spaces and
geometries in, or to put it better, made out of the strengths and the colors
of light which not only extend to the very limits of familiar visual codes
but even strain these comforts in the most wonderful way. There is a very
beautiful book on a Turrell project in Germany with the illustrious
title Geometrie des Lichts.7 For this artist such a title sounds truly plausible,
but what the title ultimately ought to be, could be and must be:
the explanation of the Geometry of Light is here not questioned decisively
enough and thus not answered. Things remain much the way Turrell
himself has described them elsewhere: One of the difficulties with light is
that we dont have a very good vocabulary for describing it.8
I like the passage in Poseners Vorlesungen zur Geschichte der neuen
Architektur, where he says: History never starts at zero. We have ()
discussed the question what the architect can learn from the history of
building. We have reached the conclusion: directly the architect can learn
absolutely nothing from history, not by imitation and not by discovering
universally valid principles. There are no such principles, neither in
architecture nor in town planning.9

Now both of these, geometry and light, are also (but not just) physical
laws and thus principles of space, and as such they are also important
preconditions of general as well as particular perception.
I can appreciate Posener while not always having to agree with him. For
in principle the use of geometry and light is (and certainly will remain)
a central yardstick in the planning and production of spatial contents; and
the way these are used, as well as fortunate external circumstances (which
are always essential) will still allow us to tell the virtuosi from
the dilettante architects (it is only among dilettantes that a person is his
or her profession!).10 I did not invent the title Geometry of Light, nor was

See James Turrell, Geometrie des Lichts (Ostfildern: Hatje Cantz, 2009).
James Turrell in conversation with Ana Maria Torres, exh. cat. IVAM, Valencia, 2004, p. 15.
Julius Posener, Rckblick in die Geschichte Heinrich Tessenow in ARCH + 53, quote tr. J.R. ODonovan.
Egon Friedell, Ecce Poeta, (Berlin: Fischer Verlag, 1912), p. 133, quote tr. J.R. ODonovan.


it my responsibility to explain this coherently to my esteemed readers

in five lines; and anyhow, didnt I point out at the start that this aim seems
to me excessively ambitious? Above all because someone might, all the
same, expect to find clarification where none has been promised and
where no factual solution can be conceived of or formulated in writing.

However, Arkan says thats the way it is: this is what he has been so
pleasurably torturing himself with for many years, this is what brings
everything together, and holds it together. For him the Geometry of Light is,
he says, the big picture, a very private and also very influential cosmos and
as such it should, he says, be accepted and taken seriously!
In the course of these reflections there was another question that also
engaged my interest: the motive for wanting to show drawings.
For a number of reasons this theme is very important/dear to me, and it
resonates with me; but I still ask: why attach it this unusually high value,
why this presentation of what is, ultimately, histories and stories of
the most personal kind? I find this decision not only unusual and fortunate,
but also courageous, because something of this kind is, of course,
dangerous and could go seriously wrong. After all, hasnt Arkan recently
attracted the attention of a broader public as an established architect in
the high-price sector and also through the successful collaboration with
SPAN in that case using a highly digitalized, biomorphic11 architectural
language which (at times entirely legitimately) focuses primarily on
overcoming all the burdens of historical conventions by means
of technical virtuosity? But this doesnt seem to be Arkans real past, nor
(which is ultimately more important here) is it his long-term future.

Here we encounter a kind of understandable and also appealing

back-to-the-roots feeling, the result of a crisis of meaning and creativity,
a somewhat truculent opposition to the unavoidable.12
Quite possible! All in all, I think one should not underestimate the
widespread growing sense of unease within the design industry. After
all Baudrillard stated years ago that (virtually automated) architecture no
longer refers to some kind of truth or originality but only to the technical
availability of forms and materials. The truth that emerges is not even
that of objective circumstances and even less of the architects subjective
will, but quite simply just the truth of the technical dispositive and its

If one wishes to believe Patrik Schumacher; see SchumacherThe Autopoiesis of Architecture (London: Wiley&Sons, 2011).


method of functioning. You can still call this architecture but nothing
about it is certain.13 And this is tangible everywhere! Emanating from the
globalized architecture schools, since the day before yesterday
all the parametric CAD stuff has been tilting into an unthinking trendiness.
The revolution is devouring its children, in the same way that every
revolution has eaten its young; instead of producers today all we see is
representatives, as Karl Kraus said.14 The digital overwhelming
is becoming increasingly unsatisfactory and every garish animation just
serves to feed our doubts. The richly visual enchantment that
we were promised would follow Avatar now manages to conceal the lack
of content and the hypocrisy of the plot only for certain, albeit lengthy,
stretches; but for anyone who wants a good story as well as good
pictures, well
But lets go back to dear old building and, because it just occurred to me,
I would like here to recall the crazy constructions at the Paris Worlds Fair
in 1889. What we vividly honor in the work of Eiffel, and in particular
Dutert and Contamin, was the most sophisticated and without doubt the
best that the late 19th century was able to provide and exhibit. But we
also know that these masterpieces, although a highpoint in terms of the
development of technology and construction, were by no means a linear
further development or the influential fireworks of a recently founded
tradition in terms of content or even esthetics. In fact they were followed
by restoration tendencies in major and minor areas, the major and minor
restoration tendencies that are so typical of the 19th century: even the
iconic column foot of the three-pin trusses in the Galerie des Machines
were defused only four years later in the madness of Chicago by using
non-structural and therefore senseless blind chords and, to top it
off, were sunken into the floor. Sempers echo or as David Bowie sang:
Theres a brand new dance, but I dont know its name 15

Although, taking a more peaceful approach, we could cite Egon Friedell

who, in his Cultural History of the Modern Age, said that all higher levels of
consciousness are reproductions of earlier series of ideas but in
more compressed, crystallized form.16
But personally I find this somewhat too optimistic; the pendulum that
moved so strongly in the one (I dont want to use the term parametric
again) direction in the last decade, will swing back sometime or
other otherwise it wouldnt be a pendulum! And the first signs are

Jean Baudrillard, Architektur: Wahrheit oder Radikalitt? (Graz-Vienna: Droschl, 1999), quote tr. J.R. ODonovan.
C. Wagenknecht (ed.), Karl Kraus fr Gestresste (Frankfurt/Main: Insel TB, 1997), p. 63, quote tr. J.R. ODonovan.
David Bowie, Fashion, 1980.
Egon Friedell, Kulturgeschichte der Neuzeit (13th ed., Munich: dtv, 2000) p. 1112.


already there: the 2010 Venice Biennale and the Small Scale Big
Impact exhibition at around the same time at the MoMA in New York.
Perhaps the mannered, illustrious Bugatti-Veyron Years with 1001 PS
are truly numbered and will inevitably be followed by a shift
(wrongly dismissed as mediocre and narrow-minded) to factual,
i.e. more content-focused, tasks and solutions. And it may be that some
people who are endearingly nave as regards the characteristics of
the process again want to leave the machine, i.e. want to confine
themselves to the theme that Raimund Abraham used to conclude
what turned out, sadly, to be his last lecture: All you need is a piece of
paper, a pencil, and the desire to make architecture!17
I am doing my utmost here to avoid historical restoration tendencies and
other sentimentalities, although I can imagine that a current visit to Ikea
with, for example, William Morris would be highly entertaining. But in the
history of architecture jokes of this kind have inevitably
turned out to be fatal. However, if back in 2003 we could read from
Hollein the Younger that naturally the digital revolution does not
stop short of architecture. Paper and pencil are being put aside and
highly qualified software programs used in order to be able to develop
the most complex structures. At a time such as this the architecture
drawing, the architectural sketch finds itself in a fundamental state of
transition with regard to its function, reception and value.18 We are
forced to reflect upon how the historic image of the architect has changed
and increasingly disintegrated since the introduction and spread of
the computer. The influence of what is known in German as the
Fachplaner (specialist planner, in any case a shabby term) has recently
expanded to such an extent that it seems a good idea to look more
closely at the role of the architect in function, reception and value. But
that would take us too far away from our topic.

Ultimately a sketch or a drawing is a very personal document;

it is geometrical handwriting and accordingly a per se non-reproducible,
intuitively subjective and therefore distinctive expression.
The architecture drawing had already reached its high point long, long
before the various retraining courses in the use of CAD were introduced;
here one can cite, for example, Looss highly plausible criticism of
the Wagner School which was so very narcissistic in this respect. Hence,
it is also understandable that in the contemporary design process the

Quoted by Peter Noever in: (Vienna Architecture Conference) in the Absence of Raimund Abraham (Ostfildern; Hatje Cantz, 2011), p. 21.
Max Hollein Visionen und Utopien, (Schirn Kunsthalle/Prestel Munich, 2003), p. 6.


hand drawing, if it still has any function at all, has only a diminutive
one, generally as an illustrational gag added at a later date. I mean,
who still really draws and if they do: when and what and how and
for whom? And yet I have the impression that in the last two years the
numbers of wonderful half-lunatics, who draw hatching lines by sliding
their triangles parallel and, late at night, sharpen coloring pencils into
ashtrays, are growing again. And recent exhibitions, such as the one in
Paris (la ville desine!) and large-scale drawing competitions (such as
the one organized by the Danish Larsen foundation or drawing in the
post-digital age from Woodbury University)19 indicate a lively and entirely
unsentimental interest in this medium.

The digital revolution has been completed, its consequences are irreversible
and the full extent of its implications is not yet apparent; every stubborn
approach, every attempt at doing entirely without such media would be simply
ridiculous, and, in the end, also impractical.
But I do believe that it would be no harm (indeed quite the opposite)
if certain handcraft facets were to return, even if only as a kind of
supplement, or better still opposition, just as a gentle warning to
all those who are far too self-confident to polish their spectacles!20,
as the great Arno Schmidt demanded in a different context. And after all,
hasnt the good old record player or turntable experienced an illustrious
renaissance? And wasnt it precisely at the time when the digitalization of
music was experiencing its first highpoint through Napster & Co.
that the emergent DJ culture or rather its high priests again began
carrying around vinyl records and wanted to be watched as they worked
or, in common parlance, DJ-ed? The analogous, i.e. the original, justifies
its existence by offering tangible and visible proof of manual work.
After all, despite everything, we still want to be served individually
and caringly!

And also from time to time we want to know what something is and why
something is the way it is! It simply cannot be the case that even great
minds like Thom Mayne can no longer figure things out: because theres
less and less differentiation between the things you show us as a desire
and its potential for realization, and the real thing. 21
So, please: whats the real thing?
Arno Schmidt, Deutsches Elend (Zurich: Haffmanns, 1984), p. 96.
(Vienna Architecture Conference) in the Absence of Raimund Abraham (Ostfildern: Hatje Cantz, 2011), p. 84.


In fact, in recent years the architecture drawing never entirely vanished,

but in the general hype it fulfilled more anachronistic and also romantic
taboo concepts. For Arkans book, and above all for his drawings, this
may all come too early or too late, the zeitgeist is notoriously unreliable.
Whatever the case, it can be taken for granted that asshole Viennese
colleagues will heap withering scorn on him: A laborious effort,
they will say, Historical complacencies and reams of entirely dispensable
quotations discovered in various drawers! We know this: just as
we know the handwriting that Arkan borrows for his drawings. But what
else, how else should one start? Borrowed from the best, is how I see it,
to make out of it something that is his own, in short:
a history of development. And, to repeat, I still think it courageous to
show this in this form, even though much of it comes from long ago and
has by now acquired a certain nostalgic character.

And yet is also very topical: the one sketch, the idea formulated back
then that was kept for later use: if we can see how the formal requisites
repeatedly surface in buildings and projects and yet are presented and
used very differently.
Arkan will never rid himself of these spirits; so why leave them to grow
dusty in plan chests; why not publish them in a suitable way? What is
happening here, and ultimately everywhere, is a form of self-plundering
at, in the best case, a high and also touching level. Ones own story (and
also the history of others) is an unerring treasure trove, the housing of
the motor of development and as such it is a fundamental requirement,
essentially a tool. Nothing here is done out of truculence or, I hope, as
the result of calculating what might be fashionable. For that kind of thing
there are a number of Arkans buildings that might be suitable, but less so
the drawings, these very old geometries and the visible and useful doubts
and hopes about space possibly the all-decisive aspect. What we see
here is a virtuoso retrospective, an exploration of his own origins, offered
as an explanation and not as a cheap, transparent sales vehicle in the
sense of I can do that, too! Themes that are old, new, large, and small,
and, as such, perhaps eternal; among them, as the spiritual center, The
Geometry of Light, also as a form of the weightless, the changing and the
transient; in contrast to the unavoidable heaviness of the shadow, trying
out the masses and possibilities of ones own horizons. It must have been
especially beautiful this evening at the House with two Horizons!



Cappadocia Time, Space and Event

Time Exposure, 1989

pencil on paper, 29.7 x 21 cm



Cappadocia Time, Space and Event

The Essence of the Landscape

The project Cappadocia is based on tectonic and topological research
and poses the question: what defines a place? An area of Cappadocia
is used to analyze place. Cappadocia, a landscape in central Anatolia
in Turkey, is known for its caves carved out of soft tuff, which contain
residential, commercial and sacred spaces. This geological layer is
exposed to special erosion that forms particularly deep and steep-walled
grooves that are characteristic of this landscape. The first caves were
created out of this soft rock in the early Bronze Age (ca. 2000 BCE).
The complex of rock formations in Greme, the center of Cappadocia,
was declared part of the world cultural heritage by UNESCO in 1985.
There are, however, also completely underground cities, which were
first uncovered only in the 1960s. The thousand-year-old history of the
landscape and the architecture that has grown out of it provide an
ideal case study. This place has been exposed to constant processes
of building up unlike any other, wearing down and reshaping. But it
is not the romantic vision of an architecture without architects that is
focused on here, but rather the deconstruction of the landscape and the
geometrization of the place.

Landscape, 1989
photo-collage , 14.5 x 11 cm

Mass is captured and, where necessary, a second horizon is drawn in

order to give the dimension of time a spatial form. One could say, an
attempt is made to begin a journey to the center of the earth. How does
one deal with the depth of a place? And: what would architecture look
like without memory? What forms space? Material or matter?


The Essence of the Landscape, 1989

acrylic on canvas / window frame , 98 x 56 cm


To be (at all) is to be in (some) place

Archytas of Tarentum

page left
pencil on paper, 21 x 29.7 cm
right page
Drawing, 1989
pencil on paper, 21 x 14 cm




Erosion, 1989
pencil on wrapping paper, 21 x 29.7 cm


left page
Geometrized Condition I, 1989
colored pencil on paper, 63 x 45 cm
right page, left
Geometrized Condition II, 1989
colored pencil on sketching paper, 7 x 27 cm
right page, right
Geometrized Condition III, 1989
colored pencil on sketching paper, 7 x 27 cm


Time, Space and Event

The Built Sundial

left page
Chronometer with Time Levels, 1989
pencil on paper, 63 x 45 cm
right page, above
Time poles, 1989
pencil on paper, 63 x 45 cm
right page, below left
Chronometer I, 1989
charcoal pencil on paper, 63 x 45 cm
right page, below right
Chronometer II, 1989
charcoal pencil on paper, 63 x 45 cm

All material in nature, the mountains, the great rivers and we

ourselves are extinguished light, and this decayed mass that we
call material casts a shadow, and the shadow belongs to the light.
Louis Kahn


Time, Space and Event

Time as the Fourth Dimension of Space

Around 1900 the understanding of space, which, since the end of the
Renaissance, had not changed for over 100 years, was redefined. The
Renaissance discovered perspective, which, as an expression of its time,
reoccurred uniformly and everywhere in art as well as in science. And
also where both were united in a single person such as Michelangelo
or Leonardo da Vinci. With Brunelleschis discovery of central perspective
and paintings in which every element is related to the viewpoint of
the respective observer, a basis was created for individualism and the
rationalized view of space related to the subject.1 Space was defined
in three dimensions and the standpoint was determined. The construction
and the concept of space stood harmoniously beside each other. It
was not so easy to set aside this simple knowledge and concept of
space. Peter Eisenman even speaks of architecture as a willing area of
application for perspective, as with its ability to define and reproduce
the perception of depth on a two dimensional surface perspective was
allotted to space as a comprehensible construct and he also points out
that architecture with its volume and the architect with his way of looking
at things adapted themselves to perspective. This meant that perspective
is even more virulent in architecture than in painting because of the
imperious demands of the eye and the body to orient itself in architectural
space through processes of rational perspectival ordering.2

Peter Eisenman, Visions Unfolding: Architecture in the Age of Electronic Media, in Kate Nesbitt,
ed. Theorizing a New Agenda for Architecture, 1996, 556-561.


left page
Sundial I, 1989
pencil on paper, 29.7 x 42 cm
right page, above
Artificial Layers I, 1989
pencil on paper, 21.7 x 29.7 cm
right page, below left
Sundial II, 1989
pencil on sketching paper, 30 x 84 cm
right page, below right
Sundial III, 1989
fineliner on sketching paper, 20 x 20 cm


With the start of Cubism (around 1908) which emerged from painting,
humankind (as subject) distanced itself from its central standpoint
(towards the object). The concept of space in art was expanded. Cubism
(finally) made a break with the perspective-based understanding of the
Renaissance and recognized that a single viewpoint does not suffice to
view an object (or space) or to fully understand it. Because the essence
of space as understood in its diversity consists of infinite possibilities
of internal relationships, an exhaustive description from a single eyepoint becomes impossible.3 The Cubists dismantled space into its
constituent elements and looked at it from all sides; they also added the
fourth dimension to it. At the same time as the discovery of the physical
relationship between space and time (theory of relativity, Albert Einstein)
and psychoanalysis (Sigmund Freud, who, incidentally, also used
photography as a way of defining terms)4, time is added as a term for
the perception of space. Whereas in the Renaissance artists were split
into two groups on the issue of whether perspective should be depicted
by means of lines or colors, Futurism developed alongside Cubism,
adding movement to the spatial depictions.
Nevertheless, time cannot be experienced in the same way as space.
Although the concept of time is derived from Plato and Aristotles
definition of movement in space, even after Kant (who regarded it as the
experience that first makes being human possible) and Einstein, who,
through his theory of relativity, defined time as the fourth dimension of
space, time is not a fixed dimension; time-space remains a relationship
that must be constantly defined anew.


Raum, Zeit, Architektur, Sigfried Giedion.

Camera obscura de lIdologie, Chapter 2: Freud Der Fotoapparat, Sarah Kofman, 1973.
Freud uses the model of the camera to show us that every psychological phenomenon first of all inevitably undergoes a unconscious
phase, through the darkness of the negative, before emerging into consciousness and developing in the brightness of the positive.


left page
Spatial Curvature and Time Levels, 1989
pencil on paper, 29.7 x 42 cm
right page, above
Space and Time, 1989
pencil on paper , 29.7 x 42 cm
right page, below
Artificial Layers II, 1989
pencil on paper, 21 x 29.7 cm



left page
Section of Timetower, 1989
pencil on paper, 31 x 44 cm
right page, left
Elevations I Timetower, 1989
pencil on paper, 31 x 44 cm
right page, right
Elevations II Timetower, 1989
pencil on paper, 31 x 44 cm


Time, Space and Event

Idea of a Space

Artificial layers are building space and time.

Contemporary witnesses share their memories.


left page
Interior of the Earth, 1989
pencil on paper, 21 x 29.7 cm
right page
Artificial Layers III, 1989
pencil on paper, 21 x 29.7 cm



Everything that has a form is material, only shadows and holes

are pure forms without history or memory.
Roberto Casati

Shadow is the removal of light and the pure contrast between the dense
volume and brightness: shadows belong to the nature of darkness, brightness
to the nature of light. One conceals, the other reveals: they are connected in
permanent communion to the volumes, and shadow is more powerful than
light, as it completely excludes the volumes from light and robs them of it,
whereas light can never completely drive the shadows away from the volumes,
that is from the dense volumes.
Leonardo da Vinci


LENDKANAL, Klagenfurt, Austria 1994

Harbor, Bridge, Moat and Weir

The Allegories of Stations

The city of Klagenfurt was not built on a watercourse, but on a gravel
mass between two rivers dating from the Wrm glacial stage. Surrounded
by a wide belt of marshland the only possible location for a larger
settlement was the extensive flat area of a gravel bed; thus the settlement
that developed into a town was a kind of moated fortress.
As early as the 13th century a plan was made to connect the town of
Klagenfurt to Lake Wrthersee by means of an artificial canal. This canal
was intended to bring the water needed for a city moat to the town
boundaries and also to be used for transport purposes. In the course of
the wars at the start of the 19th century the invading French troops blew
up the fortified walls and also drained the moat. Since then the Lendkanal
has ended in the Lendhafen.


Allegories of stations
where places freeze
open and close
where waves
break and disappear
allegories of memories,
where waves lift boats
carry ships
allegories of water,
where waves trickle out
and trickle out
and dry up

left page
Study Lendkanal, 1994
pencil on sketching paper, 75 x 30 cm
right page
The Harbor, 1994
pencil on paper, 42 x 29.5 cm



left page
Canon of Water I, 1994
pencil on paper, 90 x 63.5 cm
right page, left
Canon of Water II, 1994
pencil on paper, 126 x 60 cm
right page, right
Canon of Water III 1994
pencil on paper, 90 x 60 cm



Deep place
in the earth
draws its lines
ring by ring
runs the path

left page
The Bar, 1994
pencil on paper, 42 x 29.5 cm
right page
The Dike, 1994
pencil on paper, 42 x 29.5 cm


The Dike and the Bar

The project Allegories of Stations redraws the four historic interfaces
between the town, street and watercourse. It addresses the incisions,
transitions and interfaces that constitute the character of the built
landscape. In four stations (harbor, bridge, moat, weir) relationships to
places are recreated or newly made. The drawings show the geometry of
these newly built urban landscapes, the incisions made by the water are
materialized as architecture.

Water weir
forcing itself
through the gate
taking form
in the profile
digging the ditch
it stabs into the earth
above the water

right page above

The Bar, 1994
pencil on paper, 125.5 x 60 cm
right page below
The Dike, 1994
pencil on paper, 60 x 60 cm
next page
The Bridge, 1994
pencil on paper, 29.7 x 21 cm



the touch
the opposite
the squares
the time

right page, above

The Bridge, 1994
pencil on paper, 105.5 x 60 cm
The Bridge, 1994
pencil on paper, 105.5 x 60 cm



Wolfgang Pauser

A Story between Day and Night

Light and Architecture

Light and architecture inter-relate in a variety of ways and under

different conditions, by day and by night. To be visible every building is
dependent on natural or artificial light shining on it from outside. If it is
not illuminated at night a building can only make its presence, but not its
form, perceptible, as a series of points of light if artificial light inside the
building can be seen from outside through the windows.
With its alternating areas of wall and windows traditional architecture
was structurally deeply influenced by the possibility of directing and
controlling the amount of natural light that enters the building.
Before classic modernism made artificial light available in greater
amounts, every experience of space was shaped by the way the amount
of daylight gradually decreased from the window into the depth of the
space. The use of artificial light in interiors increased in the course of the
20th century and it has become the central medium in the way architects
today use light to present the interior as a space of visual experience.
Thus light has changed from an external ingredient to a substantial center
of architecture, in the process acquiring great importance. Out of the selfevident axiom that light makes spaces visible, the emergence of lighting
technology combined with day lighting has led to the development of a
differentiated medium in which interior space is articulated as a visual
spatial experience. And, although human perception can also register
space through sound, touch, smell and the interaction of movement, sight
is the most important of the senses involved in experiencing architecture.
In the 19th century not only was electric lighting developed but also
the industrialized and consequently economical production of
increasingly large areas of glazing. Both these inventions radically
changed architecture and prompted the continuous move towards more
light and lighting. In 1851 the Crystal Palace, an exhibition building that
consisted entirely of glass with an iron skeleton frame technology that had
originally been developed for greenhouses, represented the start of this
development. Multi-colored but no less crystalline in its form,
Bruno Tauts glass pavilion from 1914 was, so to speak, the starting
point for a kind of modernism that incorporated light not only technically,
but also symbolically as a lodestar in its program. With the curtain
wall faade a type was formulated at the Bauhaus that has lost little of
its formative power up to the present day. Modernism is equated with
opening up, brightening, enlightenment, transparency and reason.


It is a light mythology project, not just by day, as at night it draws the

starry heavens above1 down to earth, technically strengthening and
multiplying them until they are even brighter than daylight.
All these phenomena are familiar and they have been often described,
not least of all because they are at the center of our everyday experience
of light and architecture. But what forms the periphery, the outer and
inner boundaries of this link? And how can the historical development of
the current architecture of light be understood from these boundaries?
The outer boundary is marked by the phenomena of skyline, sea of
light, and dome of light. Architecture is recognizable as a skyline, not
as the result of being lit but rather due to a lack of light. In the evening
and the morning, from the east or the west, every city can be viewed
against backlight as a silhouette. In the sharp contrast between shadow
and sky the image of the city loses its differentiation and is simplified
into a line that forms the horizon and that can be identified from its
geometric shape like a signature as a skyline. In the past the effect
of backlight for views of the city in terms of compressing, contouring and
producing images was well known, and the impression made by the
towers of defensive and religious buildings in terms of marking, orienting
and identity are a result of this awareness. However, we first speak of
a skyline with regard to the big cities of modernism in which the skyline
is shaped by skyscrapers rather than by individual tall buildings, and is
a stepped line between different heights. As the view of the skyline can
only be seen and photographed from one direction it is always the same
images that are disseminated by the media and which effectively create
a kind of trade mark. This has made the skyline into an architecturally
produced line which, as a kind of natural logo identifies those cities
that have become symbols of economic prosperity, thanks to their large
number of tall buildings. However, the skyline is never the intentional
product of architectural design or urban planning but rather a silhouette
of the sum of all local architectures, a meta-architectural light-image
of the built city. Despite its anonymity and the lack of intention, this
shadow outline can still be read as a radiant, triumphal image of modern
architecture as a whole and as collective identification with its
local elements.
At dusk the skyline fades, giving way to the perception of built urbanity
through the sea of light and the light dome. In contrast to backlight

Immanuel Kant, translation by Thomas Kingsmill Abbott: The Critique of Practical Reason (1788).


which, while not illuminating the city, still clearly outlines it and
thus reveals it as a built object, the sea of light blurs all contours. Its
innumerable sources of light do not illuminate the city and its buildings
but merely suggest their presence, in that they present nothing other
than their own light. In contrast to the silhouette, the metaphor of the
sea dematerializes the borders of the city as an architectural object into
an animated infinity of living, flickering light. Whereas the skyline is the
result of a shortage of light, the imposing aspect of the sea of light is that
there are too many sources of light for the perception to synthesize them
into an architectural object. The sea of light is also a counter image of the
city, but, in contrast to the silhouette, here light and dark have swapped
places: what appears against the dark background is just the light of the
city, but not its architecture. The night-time form of the city consists solely
of light that does not brighten or clarify anything but leaves things in the
dark, spreads in an inflationary way, and diffuses the boundaries of all
objects. Nevertheless, or precisely on this account, we can talk here of
light-architecture in the narrower sense of the term.
In the modern big city the intensity of night-time lighting has reached
a level that doubles the sea of light upwards, reflecting it in the air
and further diffusing it. Like a mirage, the sum of all the architectural
illuminations appears to hover above the city in a form resembling
a dome of light. This neither illuminates nor is illuminated itself. Its
appearance is the result of scattered light that breaks against particles
floating in the air and thus produces the image of a cloudy object
consisting solely of light. This epiphenomenon, a summary of architecture
illumination, surpasses the sea of light in terms of both inflation and
diffusion. But, unlike the skyline, it is not interpreted as a glorious super
symbol of that energetically densely built formation, the city, but is
increasingly becoming caught in the crossfire of political criticism. In the
Czech Republic a law has even been passed against light pollution.
Interpreting light as a pollutant is not only historically new. This idea
questions the direction taken by the continuous development of the
architecture of light and way of thinking about light over thousands of
years. Purity, clarity and increasing visibility are the qualities that have
been traditionally attributed to light as core elements of its very nature,
without an opposite attribution ever seeming remotely conceivable. In the
symbolic order light and dirt are diametrical opposites, and, so far, the
fact that light can hinder sight has been a theme only in the rare case of


dazzling glare. However, the debate about light pollution shows that
things are now different.
Sources of artificial light pollute the natural darkness at night and can
therefore be seen as a special kind of environmental pollution. It is still a
matter of debate whether the artistic aspects such as the illumination of
monuments justify this. Just as polluted seas, ground or air are no longer
habitable for many species, the destruction of the night also has far
reaching consequences. 2
If one ignores for the moment the green fundamentalist overtone in
which such assessments are delivered with all the fervor of an apostle
of nature, the question still remains whether there are any possible or
necessary limits to historic development and whether they increase in the
amount of artificial lighting. Sometime in the future, will it be possible to
explain the history of light in terms of a continuous path culminating in
full illumination? Or will we be witnesses of a break that fundamentally
corrupts not just the dosage but also the cultural metaphors and meaning
of light?
Phenomena of inflation are found not only at the outer edges of the area
of encounter between light and architecture but also in its minimum. 3D
architecture renderings consist solely of light and two dimensions: They
are generally presented in a glowing light, peopled by slender office
employees and couples with children. No dark corners, always warm
light, no grayish-blue tones strolling through ArCAADia.3
The biblical vision of a Heavenly Jerusalem, a city built of transparent
gems, in such a way that God descends shining to earth, also shines
out of our idealized images of architecture. These images are used to
seduce investors, and consequently, if it wishes to avoid subsequently
disappointing people, architecture must adapt to match them. Where the
architecture of light consists only of light, it can hardly resist the seductive
appeal of a utopian totalization of light.
A further minimum of the cultural configuration of light and architecture
is the solarium. It is usually not included under architecture but, like air
conditioning or the elevator, it belongs to the ensemble of technical
facilities that makes a decisive contribution to making modern architecture
possible and to structuring it. Whereas air conditioning separates the
warming and the illuminating dimensions of sunlight from each other, the

Wikipedia (German version), translation of entry under Lichtverschmutzung, April 2011.

Tobias Scheidegger, Flanieren in ArCAADia. Digitale Architekturvisualisierungen Analyse einer unbeachteten
Bildgattung (Zrich: Verlag Universitt Zrich Institut fr Populre Kulturen, 2009).


solarium has a function that compensates for and augments the function
of buildings as a filter against the sun. It is a coffin-like casing, a technical
shell that encloses the human body; in relation to sunlight, however, it can
be seen as a functional inversion of every form of habitation. Its function
is to compensate for the effectiveness of buildings in keeping the sun out.
For buildings are designed not only to offer protection against the night.4
In hot climates architecture is also a bulwark against sun and light. The
radiation which the macro-body-shell of the building deprives human
beings of is doubly returned by the micro-body-shell of the solarium.
Architecture and solarium together form a system of light politics that
grows within an energy-rich movement between reciprocal escalation
and over-compensation. The increasing use of relatively energy-saving
lamps does nothing to limit this escalation but merely smoothes its path in
cultural terms.
The increase of light leads to a reduction of the night, darkness and
shadows. In interior design light sources start to overlay and to compete
with each other.5 Consequently shadows are in short supply, yet are
increasingly needed because the task of designing interior spaces is
moving closer to the world of the theater, where drama is required
to stage a piece. Lighting needs shadow as a means of contrast. In
contemporary interiors we experience a duel between the imperative of
complete illumination and the imperative of staging or presenting.
The inflation of the amount of light is further fueled by the variation of
its sources. Whereas the accentuating spotlight competes with the wallwasher, in addition to light fittings that illuminate, more and more selfilluminating lights are being developed. Advertising light illuminates our
ability to desire; back-lit monitors encourage concentration and offer
distractions. Artificial light with the color of daylight is increasingly joined
by daylight artificially introduced into buildings by means of glass fibers
and mirrored shafts. Intentionally or unintentionally, they all add to a
diffuse, excessively bright atmosphere of light, the indoor pendant to the
cloud of light over the city.
Complete glazing is now standard for inner city office buildings. However
dark blue these obelisks of an economy that has become opaque may
be, they still sing the old song of the victory of light and its effect on
human civilization in terms of enlightening and making transparent. But
behind these smooth faades a technical and architectural change is
taking place. Whereas removing the window originally created monoliths

Walter Seitter, Zur Physik der Nacht in Gernot Bhme, Reinhard Olschanski (eds.), Licht und Zeit
(Munich: Wilhelm Fink Verlag, 2004).
Bruno Haldner in: Marcel Schmid, Licht, exhibition catalog, (Basel 1991).


of light, today this development is guided by the idea of a biomorphic

membrane (with automatic shade appliances at certain points). Unlike
that old architecture medium, the wall, this membrane is not directed
against nature but is committed to nature and symbolically offered to it.
On the outer boundary (the dome of light) the inflation of light is opposed
using arguments about protecting nature, on the inner boundary (the
solarium) it raises concerns about the dangers it presents to human health.
Thus, in this discussion nature and health are increasingly equated.
With the new model of the semi-permeable membrane, architecture has
recently made attempts to depart from its old mission, setting boundaries
to nature by means of walls within which human culture opens up and
seeks to escape from the firing line of the nature discourse.6 The inflation
and diffusion of light is thus joined by a further dissolution of boundaries:
technology and nature should blend together. The outside world and the
human body as two examples of nature should no longer be separated
by walls, windows and cultural borders. The bionically conceived robotics
bubble that automatically modifies itself by means of solar and wind
current and adapts to the sun, the clouds and the wind, wants to be
simulated nature rather than architecture. It resembles a super-mother
who always knows best what is good for those in her care: it makes
humankind into an embryo in a semitransparent abdominal cavity bathed
in the cybernetically optimized mild light of that clarification which
is now about to leave behind the Enlightenment and its architectural
embodiments with all its history of metaphors of light. The latest
architecture utopia, living in a semi-permeable bubble that adapts to the
weather by changing form, creates for mankind a precarious interior
space robbed of the right to be designed, whose culture of light resembles
in part the dome of light, and in part the solarium. If the architectural selfmanifestation of humankind ignores the demands of nature, the result is
a structural inversion of the architecture of light: its outermost peripheral
phenomena form the new center.

See, for example, the biomorphic architecture visions of Vincent Callebaut,


LIGHT AND DARKNESS I Studies on NYC, Pier for Coney Island, 1994


Even in absolute darkness there is light.

The black hole as a boundary of understanding;
the distortion of space and time.

left page
Entity of the Dark, 1995
pencil on paper, 91.5 x 61 cm
right page, left
Black out, 1994
pencil on paper, 25 x 25 cm
right page, right
Sparks, 1994
pencil on paper, 25 x 25 cm



left page, above

The imaginary lines (folds) create a field, 1994
Pencil on paper, 25 x 25 cm
left page, below left
The Linear Plane or the Balanced Field, 1994
Pencil on paper, 25 x 25 cm
left page, below right
Density, 1994
pencil on sketching paper, 25 x 25 cm
right page
Folding the Fold, 1994
fineliner on sketching paper, 25 x 25 cm


The Fold or folded horizon, 1995

pencil on paper, 96.5 x 91 cm
next page
Laughter in the Dark,1995
pencil and acrylic on paper
96.5 x 61 cm



Wolfang Pauser

Concepts of Reason
Geometry and Light

Geometry is unique and eternal, a reflection of the spirit of God.

Johannes Kepler

Geometry means, literally, the measurement of the earth. In histories that

adhere to a narrative of the linear development of intellect and reason its
origins are often explained in terms of the practical necessity in ancient
Egypt to regularly redefine property boundaries following frequent
flooding. Up to the present day a land surveyor is still occasionally known
as a geometer. In general, however, geometry has developed into an
area of mathematics which in terms of complexity has distanced itself
almost infinitely from the simple figures used in schools to provide an
introduction to the subject.
However, in addition to this earthy root, geometry has a second root
whose antipodal origins are to be found in the lights of the heavens.
In its early days astronomy was not divorced from religion, cosmology
and astrology, responsibility for it was assumed by the priesthood. The
early geometry of the heavens is used to measure ground, but on the
level of its semantic meaning shows little signs of being down to earth.
It poses questions about creation, about God, about the cosmic entity.
Consequently, for the history of reason it is useful only as a contrast
medium that one can distance oneself from, at best a precursor. Strands
of traditions spun from the antique geometry of the stars in the heavens
extend alongside the history of the Enlightenment up to the present day.
In accordance with its program the Enlightenment allots these parallel
phenomena, the most prominent of which is Pythagorean thought, to
the universal history of irrationality. This by no means diminishes their
value for a cultural and historical examination of their effect. After all,
in a poetic reference to Pythagoras and Kepler Immanuel Kant, the
philosopher of the Enlightenment per se, himself believed that he could
see in the starry heavens above us a reflection and symbol of the
law of reason.
Today it is no longer possible to say with certainty when the starry
heavens first provoked humankind to see in them not a chaotic mass
of light sources but a phenomenon of order, from which regularities,
differences and laws can be read and interpreted. What is certain is that
in numerous early cultures the measurement of time by means of


a calendar was derived from this phenomenon, which represented the

first step in constructing a bridge to mathematics. And we also know that
imaginary lines were drawn between the brightest stars in order to project
mythological figures into the abstract geometric shapes thus created:
the constellations.
The point-shaped light from the stars forms a perfect contrast to the
homogenous black background, and it provokes us to form abstractions
of a geometrical and mathematical kind. This phenomenon resembles the
negative of a schematic black and white drawing. The starry sky looks
like a geometric projection of itself, it seems to have anticipated the way
it was to be schematically depicted by human knowledge and appears
as a primal image or prototype of every geometrical drawing and clear
order alongside daytime nature, which, as it is infinitely more diverse,
is comparatively chaotic. Points, the lines that connect them, and the
apparently curved surface of the vault of the heavens, against which they
become visible, seem like natural models for the formation of the abstract
basic elements of geometry. The art of calculating and the observation of
the heavens grow together into a form that illustrates simple mathematical
relationships and was used to simplify, schematize, model and calculate
daytime phenomena.
The stars in the sky not only inspired the development of geometry,
they also raised questions about how these night-time phenomena of
a simple geometric order should be interpreted. And so the achievements
of rational calculation, which had developed in the context of astronomy,
were soon generalized and projected back into the starry sky as a cosmic
or divine order. What seems like a quintessential order cannot easily be
ascribed to pure chance. The firmament appears like an illustration of the
term natural law, as the regular nature of its appearance lends itself
to being described in terms of the laws of mathematics and geometry.
In the future those drawings made up of points connected by straight
lines, with which the scientific view of the world is illustrated, are to
look similar, albeit only in black and white. In the geometric drawing a
standard is later established that appears to guarantee the understanding
of nature by means of reason. In modernity only those aspects of nature
that can be described mathematically and can therefore be depicted
geometrically achieve the status of natural scientific truth. The graphic
type of connecting black points on a white background by means of
compass and ruler was considered a general symbol of rationality,


before being replaced by the 3D computer rendering. The visual demand

for transparency and clear boundaries, according to the Cartesian clare
et distincte and closely linked to the phantasm of the spirit, was met
by a graphic design which, in the case of solid bodies, marked only their
edges with lines so as to present their opaque interior as transparent and
therefore spiritual.1 The distinction could not find a better medium for its
visualization than the outline. The geometrical, schematic depiction did
not confine itself to the understanding of nature but was used for every
kind of rational planning. It was the basic medium of architecture until it
encountered competition from parametrical computer-aided design which
can be worked directly in three-dimensional free form.
Johannes Keplers attempts in the 17th century to discover the
construction plan of creation in the geometry of the planetary orbits
were based on the theory of Pythagoras as conveyed by Plato. He had
measured vibrating strings to discover the ratios in which they must be
divided to produce consonant sounds. His experiments showed that
the ratios must be integers. Even though today we know that this is
only an approximate result that is not confirmed by precise calculation,
for centuries the apparent evidence that, on hearing at the same time
sounds whose relationship represents an integral division of the octave,
the human ear experiences an aesthetic feeling of harmony seemed
subjectively confirmed. From this phenomenon Pythagoras concluded that,
analogous to the sound of harmonious tones, the integral relationships
must play an important role in all other areas and perceptions of nature.
In particular the geometry of the starry sky seemed ideally suited as
a subject into which the laws of music could be projected. Models
discovered in music and transferred to astronomy achieved great impact
in the history of ideas as the harmony of the spheres.
The cosmos as described by Plato resembles a spindle. Concentric
hemispheres rotate around an axis consisting of light. A harmonious
sound is produced which is, however, inaudible to the human ear. The
Pythagorean esthetic of music, equated with the relationships between
whole numbers (fractions), is regarded as a law that not only structures
the cosmos but also produces it. As a planetary model the spindle of
necessity fits into the tradition of ancient myths of creation, which
employ metaphors of sound in an attempt to explain the transition from
nothing to something. Pythagoras gives these creation myths that use
sound a mathematical form. The laws of numbers of music are to be

The term spiritual is used here in the sense of an abstraction of humankinds intellectual achievements.


found reflected in the celestial lights that appear against the night sky.
In Greek the term cosmos means both order as well as ornament. It is
the musical beauty of harmonious sound whose mathematical equivalent
is seen in the order of the stars.
Against this background we can understand why Vitruvius derives the
proportions of architecture from reflections on the theory of music. The
additional aesthetic value of integral intervals was regarded as proof of
the general validity of a cosmic law, a kind of world formula of creation,
described by Plato in the dialogue Timaeus as Lambdoma. In this system
the number 1 stands for the whole, all further values are derived from the
division/fraction of whole numbers.
For Pythagoras the issue is not numbers used for counting, but the
relationship between numbers. The term proportion is still used today
in architecture and the visual arts and means nothing other than that
the relationships between dimensions relate to the Pythagorean theory
of numbers. Such proportions are described as harmonious, as it is
assumed that the beauty of musical consonance can be transferred to
visual phenomena by means of the relevant ratios. This can only succeed
if one assumes that a cosmological building law of integers forms the
basis for the audible as well as the visual. Thus, conveyed by means
of mathematics, the geometrical division of the lengths of the strings is
projected into the geometry of the celestial bodies, from where, as a
divine law, it structures, produces and shapes the world of appearances.
An attempt is then made to discover the inaudible sound of the harmony
of spheres in the regularities of natural phenomena (such as, for
example, the laws of the way leaves are arranged on a stem, the angles
of crystals or the human form).
Johannes Kepler discovered that the orbits of the planets are elliptical
because, as a Pythagorean, he was convinced that circular orbits could
not reflect the beauty of cosmic music, as integral ratios of division are
not to be found in circles. It is only in an ellipse that every point be
described by a relationship, namely its distance from two focal points.
Kepler used a telescope that he developed and built himself to examine
the thesis of harmonious number relationships, developed from music
theory. Even though the theory behind his reasoning was wrong,
verifying it by means of the observation of nature represents a decisive
step in modern natural sciences. In Keplers model of the cosmos,
which was derived from Platos spindle, there was also a place for the


Platonic solids. These are the simplest forms of geometrical polygons,

from the tetrahedron to the octahedron. Since antiquity these bodies had
been regarded as elements or ideal atoms out of which the cosmos is
constructed. In particular Leonardo da Vinci gave them in his depictions
a kind of apotheosis comparable to the Brussels Atomium. Kepler
believed that he could determine the distances between the planets by
placing the Platonic solids inside each other in the concentric circling
dishes of the musical heavenly machines (Boetius). At this point in the
historic development the basic forms of geometry are used as organizing
principles in the astronomic interpretation of the lights that appear in
the heavens.
As, in his planet model, Kepler combines the most general geometrical
ideas, the Platonic solids, with the Pythagorean theory of ratios, in this
context he also, logically, deals with crystals. He regards the phenomenon
of crystals, characterized by their combination of permeability to light
with geometrical form, as further clear proof of the fact that geometry
is not just a method of abstraction used by human understanding, but
as a divine law, so to speak, inherent to nature and the cosmos itself
and even underlies their generation. The similarity of the crystals to the
Platonic solids gave credence to the belief that they were, so to speak,
underground evidence for the order of the celestial lights, as shaped
by the harmony of the spheres. Keplers suppositions later influenced
pioneers of the science of crystallography such as, for example,
Victor Goldschmidt who sought to decipher the angles of crystals by
means of Pythagorass theory of numbers.
The historical paths of light and geometry cross each other not only at
their starting point, the star and its underground correlate crystal, but also
in the year 1671, when Isaac Newton discovered the laws of refraction
in the prism. During the day he closed the window shutters, leaving just
a tiny gap open, to obtain a ray of light, with which he could observe,
in the prism, the light fanning out into a spectrum of colors. This enabled
him to describe the geometrical laws of optics.
Whereas to derive geometry from the points of light in the night sky they
had to be connected by imaginary lines to form flat figures, sunlight had
to be filtered through a gap in a window shutter to shape it into a line. In
physical terms the resulting ray of light is actually a cone that is almost a
cylinder, but it leads the eye to interpret it as a line. Here, too, geometric


abstraction is demonstrated, in that the visibility of light is presented in

such a way that the schematic construction of the optical theory seems
to emerge as evident from the phenomenon itself. In Newtons study the
geometric character of the ray transforms into a natural phenomenon,
whose laws are then to be depicted as truths in the geometrical
constructions of physical optics.
In nature there are no points and also no straight lines. The fundamental
elements of geometry are purely intellectual models that allow a simplified
mathematical description of natural phenomena. This does not mean that
they exist a priori in the human mind geometry, too, grew historically
and in the process was provoked, inspired and made possible by all
kinds of external phenomena, both natural and cultural, such as stars,
creation myths based on sound, land surveying, stone formations and
window shutters. The question whether we can truly recognize nature
through geometric models, because it itself is built and operates
according to geometry, or whether, conversely, we simply project the
simplifications of our reason into nature as a grid and then filter it
accordingly is about as difficult to answer as the one about the chicken
and the egg. Goethe regarded the eyes as sun-like, Kant believed that we
prescribe to nature the categories of understanding. Geometry is not
only inspired in many ways by phenomena of light, in western history it
is committed to bringing light into dark things and to creating order, not
only in the mind but, consequently, also in the design of the world.
A fourth point of intersection of historical importance (in addition to
Pythagoras as conveyed by Plato, Kepler, and Newton) is found at the
beginning of the 20th century, when in 1901 in Darmstadt architect
Peter Behrens ceremonially unveils a crystal and declares it the leitmotif
of modernism, with all the familiar consequences in terms of geometric
abstraction in painting, design and architecture. At the Werkbund
Exhibition in 1914 Bruno Taut gives his glass pavilion the form of a
crystal, combining light and geometry in a way that has dominated
building in urban centers down to the present day. A convention has
established itself that high-rise buildings should be given simple geometric
forms that are then clad with glass, as far as possible without joints, so
that they look like mighty crystals. In this culture of high-rise buildings
a millennia-old vision continues to live, in which geometry could be a
connecting bridge between heaven and earth, light and stone, beauty
and measure, concepts of reason and the material world.


LIGHT AND DARKNESS I Studies on NYC, Pier for Coney Island, 1994

left page
Light rays changing media, 1994
pencil on paper, 25 x 25 cm
right page
Light rays changing media, 1995
acrylic on canvas, 91 x 122 cm


left page
Opening, 1995
acrylic on canvas, 91 x 122 cm
right page
Opening, 1994
pencil on paper, 30 x 30 cm


left page
Transition, 1994
colored pencil on paper, 25 x 25 cm
right page
Transition, 1995
acrylic on canvas, 91 x 122 cm



left page
Window, 1995
acrylic on canvas, 91 x 91 cm
right page
Window, 1994
pencil on paper, 30 x 30 cm



left page, above

Papillon, 1994
pencil on paper, 30 x 30 cm
left page, below left
Open and Close, 1994
pencil on paper, 25 x 25 cm
left page, below right
Walking Cube, 1994
pencil on paper, 25 x 25 cm
right page
Iron Butterfly, 1994
pencil on paper, 25 x 25 cm


Papillon, 1995
acrylic on canvas, 91 x 91 cm


Light and Darkness

The Inversion

The project Pier for Coney Island developed out of an inversion of

descriptive geometry. Geometry is not used as a means of depicting
an object; instead the object develops out of the geometric studies and
constructions of the New York coastal landscape. The projection conveys
the spatial relationships, the pervasion of surface and space. The pier
as object thus represents both the distance to the context and the context
itself; denaturalized in rhythm.


left page
Development of Poles, 1995
pencil, colored pencil on paper, 91.5 x 61 cm
right page
Poles, 1995
acrylic on canvas, 91 x 91 cm


left page, above

Pier I, 1995
pencil on paper, 21.5 x 28 cm
left page, below
Pier II, 1995
pencil on paper, 25 x 25 cm
right page, above
The 3 Horizons, 1995
pencil on paper, 25 x 25 cm
right page, below left
Pier III, 1995
pencil on paper, 30 x 30 cm
right page, below right
Pier IV, 1994
pencil on paper, 30 x 30 cm




above right
Conceptual Drawing of Poles, 1995
pencil on paper, 25 x 25 cm
Construction Drafts of Poles, 1995
pencil on paper, 25 x 25 cm


Construction Drawing 1, 1995

pencil on paper, 101 x 66 cm
Construction Drawing 2, 1995
pencil on paper, 101 x 66 cm


Construction Drawing 3, 1995

pencil on paper, 91.5 x 61 cm
Working Drawing, 1995
pencil on paper, 91.5 x 61 cm



Final Geometry I, 1995

pencil on paper, 91.5 x 61 cm


Final Geometry II, 1995

pencil on paper, 117 x 89 cm


Final Geometry III, 1995

pencil on paper, 91.5 x 61 cm



Model for Coney Island, 1995

wood, steel, brass 80 x 9 x 12.5 cm


POOL I Kunstverein Klagenfurt, Austria 1997

Silhouette of Shadow and Light

This sculpture for the Kunstverein Klagefurt has no function. It plays with
the position of the viewer who can approach the image from different
directions, as if one could take a look behind the painters technique.
Where does the shadow come from, how does the form arise? The
presentation is a three-dimensional play of light and shadow.
The composition a surface in space.

112 I POOL

Metamorphosis in the Geometrical Corset, 1997

pencil on paper, 32.7 x 45 cm

Pool, 1997


114 I POOL

Pool, 1997
left page
Folding Horizons, 1995
pencil on paper, 30 x 30 cm



The Waterline housing project in Carinthia is conceived as a
190-meter-long residential street. The rhythm of the building offers habitat,
squares and intermediate spaces, always focused on the individual
resident. The viewer is moved into a central position. In the intermediate
space there is a watercourse, the climate zone. The proportions and
relationships of the building volumes are constructed around people:
a human geometry.

Design Drafts I - IV, 1998

ballpoint pen on paper, 14 x 7 cm


Design Drafts V, 1998

pencil on sketching paper, 60 x 30 cm
Design Drafts VI, 1998
pencil on sketching paper, 30 x 25 cm


CONDENSED CITY I Studies on the Typology of the City, Vienna, Austria 1992

The Void
Condensed City analyzes Viennas structure of concentric rings in
six steps: inner city/Ringstrae (ring-road)/inner urban districts/Grtel
(outer ring-road)/outer urban districts/suburbs (as far as the Vienna
Woods). The development, density, traffic routes and empty spaces of
the individual parts are reconstructed and interpreted in a metaphoric
plan. The studies on topological densification and void are themselves
condensed in a building. Condensed City compresses the city in
one of its in-between spaces.


left page
The Void, 1992
pencil on sketching paper, 60 x 41.5 cm
right page
Ring of Vienna, 1992
pencil on sketching paper, 65 x 41.5 cm


The cross-section of
Vienna from the core
to the fringe is
compressed into the
emptiness to the

right page
Chronology of the Forms, 1992
pencil on sketching paper, 110 x 90 cm
left page, above
Section - Floor Plan, 1992
pencil on sketching paper, 110 x 50 cm
left page, below
Floor Plan-Section-Elevation-The Grid, 1992
pencil on sketching paper, 110 x 70 cm



SPACE INSTALLATION Z-VZ I Z-Bank Vienna, Austria (Gnther Domenig,1992)

Green Tower
This space installation was developed in the course of the refurbishment
of the bank (1964) and deals with an open space extending through four
stories. The green tower twists gently, shaping vessels within a spatial
cage, allowing a sculptural space to develop.


right page
Perspective Green Tower, 1992
pencil on sketching paper, 64 x 33.5 cm
left page
Green Tower with Vessels and the
Construction of the Cage, 1992
pencil on sketching paper, archive Gnther Domenig


SAAK I Chapel of Rest, Carinthia, Austria 1997

Light Cross
The chapel of rest faces towards the center of Saak and closes the public
open space in front of the church and presbytery. The symbolic floor plan
of a cross is repeated in the construction. The load-bearing cross rests
above the recumbent one and forms an entity in the cross of light in the
hall. An interpretation of inner contemplation in an archaic form; symbolic
and illuminating.

The cross of the forecourt

that rises against the mountain
the loadbearing
that rests on the lying
that lays its wings
across the ground

left page above

Construction sketch, 1990
ballpoint pen on paper, 19.5 x 10 cm
left page below
Section Elevation Floor plan, 1990
pencil on sketching paper, 52 x 30 cm
right page
Light Cross, 1990
photo of model

124 I SAAK


MAK I Study for Gnther Domenig, Vienna, Austria 1989

In 1989 the Director of the Museum of Applied Arts set up an invited
entry ideas competition. This was to address the terrace plateau he
had designed himself for the museum garden of MAK, which makes a
clear sign in the direction of the River Wien and Viennas third district:
the flight of steps oriented towards the garden is on the one hand an
articulation and dissolution of the site boundary, while on the other
it invites the visitor to ascend these steps. From different heights there
are various views and perspectives of objects and exhibits that can be
displayed in the museum garden. Seen from the Stubenbrcke (bridge
over the River Wien) and Vordere Zollamtstrae it signalizes the access
to the museum garden and, as a viewing terrace looking towards the
Stadtpark, it enriches the urban fabric. (

126 I MAK

Sketch, 1989
collage / pencil on paper, 42 x 29.7 cm


Drawing, 1989
pencil on paper, 65 x 36.5 cm
left page
Balcony and Spaces, 1989
pencil on paper, 65 x 30 cm

128 I MAK


left page
The Point, 1989
pencil on paper, 65 x 30 cm
right page
The Threshold Beam, 1989
Pencil on paper, 65 x 30 cm

130 I MAK


There is no such thing as

abstract architecture.
On the career of an architect. An encounter.
Dietmar Steiner in conversation with
Arkan Zeytinoglu
In fact I didnt know Arkan
Zeytinoglu. I first heard his
name in connection with a number of successful projects for
a bar and an attic conversion
that were carried out in recent
years in Vienna. What surprised
me was that this success was not
associated with any of the media
marketing strategies so commonplace today. Nobody had
pushed themselves, so to speak.
Arkan remained an insiders tip.
It is very rare these days for an
architect who is clearly successful not to undertake the relevant
public relations work for his
projects. Thus Arkan is an oldfashioned architect who lives for
his projects and buildings, who
is delighted with every commission yet does not pursue an
aggressive corporate strategy.
This makes the question why he
chose to become an architect
even more interesting.

DS: Of course, but if you lear ned about this profession from
your father, didnt this instill
fear in you being faced with the
many obstacles and pressures
that an architect has to deal with
every day?

AZ: I have asked myself the

same question, how one arrives
at this situation, why one feels
this urge, the need to pursue
this type of career . Perhaps the
fact that my father is also an architect is not entirely irrelevant.
I had an idea what this means.
On the other hand, at the age of
16 I already knew , this is it! I
have to become an architect.

AZ: No, because I knew at the

age of 16 that I was destined
for this profession. I attended a
secondary school that of fered a
focus on music and visual arts. I
chose both subjects. I took both
the music and visual arts education courses. In the music course I
completed the entire training, learned the complete classical repertoire and I also played an ins-


AZ: But I have always done directly the opposite of what my

father wanted.
DS: I see, so you are saying
that you became an architect in
opposition to your father , who
is an architect? A paradoxical
situation. At home, in daily family life, you certainly gained
insight into the challenges and
difficulties that the profession of
an architect entails: court cases,
building defects, building regulations, in short the immense
effort involved in building. Did
this not put you of f wanting to
become an architect?

trument. And in the afternoons I

attended another school to study
descriptive geometry. This dual
training was very important and
played a major role during my
studies where the connection of
music and architecture was very
important to me.
DS: This connection between
music and architecture has been
overworked. To me it always
sounds highly abstract and constructed, like the sentence about
architecture as frozen music.
But ultimately there is no connection that can be proven.
AZ: Well, first of all this approach freed me from the legacy of architectural history
and from models. I also saw it
as a geometrical problem. Like
Pythagoras who with his
a+b= c also defined a relationship between vibrations. Because if you play the piano you
deal not only with octaves defined as amplitudes of vibration,
but also with the material of the
piano, with the shortening of the
strings and the vibrations in different surroundings, which then
produce individual geometries.
This also shapes the material,
the sound box, and ultimately
the space. That is to say: the basis for a design can be music.
DS: This descriptive form of
music has always served as inspiration for architects. They
have translated scores, initially
in the form of drawings, graphic

concepts and projects, into spatial compositions. But architects

have also derived participatory
rules for the composition of a
project from the kind of instructions that are found above all in
modern classical music. There is
the question about how architecture can develop rules with the
orchestra of all those involved
in the project.
AZ: My approach was very different and remains so. I don t
search for the content of ar chitecture through the abstraction of the score. I dont need this
story board to develop architecture. For me it is the perception
of music when played that is of
primary importance, the kind of
sound-space that it constructs.
And I find that this sound-space
is extremely graphic. Vice-versa
the geometry of spaces produces
a sound for me. From this sound,
i.e. out of these tones, geometries are constructed which are
indeed related to mathematics
that together with proportion
shapes/creates spaces. And this
is how the design of the DHouse developed D stands for
D major which, looking back,
I might perhaps see as a condensate of this approach. But then
other abstract dimensions of
architecture are also involved.
There is the light, the construction, the horizon, the perception
of space in perspective which is
related to the position of the eye.
And out of all these influences
and determining factors the de-

sign for my first house arose.

That was the start and it was an
attempt to define myself. To find
an answer to the question: where
does the form, the geometry of
my architecture come from?

new sound scenarios and spaces

when I play the piano.

DS: But this creates the dilemma that architecturally autonomous sculptures without
any practical value could deveDS: You are very attached to this lop from this emotional musical
first design for a house. Was that sensibility. However you place
in some way or other the comthe people af fected by your ar pressed form or the beginning
chitecture at the center of attenof your calling as an architect?
tion. You feel an obligation not
Did you say to yourself: without to develop an architecture that
having a client I focused all my
disconcerts or is alien to peocreative strength and knowledge ple. You dont shy away from
on a fundamental statement, and talking about feel-good ar in all my subsequent projects up chitecture, about atmospheres,
to the present day I have benemoods and vibrations of the mafitted from this radical position, terial or about proportions. You
as a kind of benchmark for my
stress the idea of the melting pot
architectural desires?
of architecture that blends all
the influential material elements
AZ: Yes, because I still like to
in order to achieve a coherent
sit down at the piano and play . built result. We find ourselves
And I don t mean playing sohere in a rather abstract space
meone elses work, I don t play of argumentation that ultimatefrom a score, Im talking here
ly only fellow architects and
about my own im provisation
experts can understand. But
if you want to put it like that. For how does one communicate
a long time, perhaps 30 years, I
this position and strategy to
havent played someone else s potential clients who may well
music. And I regularly develop
have entirely different associa-


tions with regard to this kind

of terminology?
AZ: Dealing with clients is extremely simple: it is always
about the right chemistry . And
that again is a non-definable
chemical composition: if, essentially, you get along well
with each other and everything
clicks, then the clients are also
certain that you are the right person for the job. I believe you can
sense this, you notice whether
things are right or not. But this
is just one side of the story. Naturally there is another side: before my first building I, too, was
asked: have you built anything
before? And I said: no I haven t
built anything yet. And then, if
you have no references, if you
have not built anything then
the client says: no, I won t hire
you because you have not built
anything. This is the real major
obstacle when you are trying to
start off as an architect. But once
you have crossed this hurdle of
the first building, and if you and
the client enjoy carrying out the
construction and you are both
happy with the result and if everything falls into place, then you
have made it.

actually realized, in which

the client, who was not at all
convinced by his proposals, asked
other architects for suggestions
and yet finally carried out
this concept of an open barrestaurant in a shopping street,
which initially, in typological
terms, was a foreign body. For
an entire year the Bar Italia
did not attract much attention
at all but then suddenly, much
to the surprise of all including
the architect and client, this new
facility was well received and
it developed into a hot-spot on
this shopping street. Nobody
knows why, but apparently the
architect anticipated a need,
whose existence not even the
current users were aware of.
DS: At this point one ought to ask
the question, what architecture
are we talking about in the first
place? How would you define
your position? Or , to make an
easier start, you studied under
Gnther Domenig in Graz and
under Raimund Abraham in
New York. Did this have an
effect on you?

AZ: It was certainly interesting

and inspiring. But I didn
have real role models or
DS: That means that in fact every teachers. My approach was
architect owes a lifelong debt of always to question everything.
gratitude to his first client.
Even to question the entire
history of architecture. It only
Arkan then goes on telling becomes really exciting when
the story of the Bar Italia on the transition from antiquity
Mariahilfer Strasse in Vienna. to modernity takes place. And
This was the first project he I didnt see Domenig and


Abraham as father figures but

as contemporaries. The theorists
at the Cooper Union in New
York were also interesting. With
Abraham the problem was also
that he did not build anything, or
very little.
DS: Why was that a problem?
For him the drawing was pure,
absolute architecture.
AZ: Precisely. But as an architect
you have to build. And you must
be able to fail and to learn from
failure. For me there is no such
thing as abstract architecture.
DS: What do you consider
AZ: Here I mean, and Im
deliberately being provocative,
many of the gigantic spectacles
produced by the star architects
in recent years, which of fer
wonderful images but quite
simply fail to fulfill their
function, their use.
DS: And I thought that nowadays
all talented architects want to
follow in the footsteps of those
star architects? Wolf Prix once
postulated: the architect who
never experiences the desire to
build the Tower of Babel anew
has no right to be an architect.
AZ: Well in this sense I belong
to the next generation.
desire no longer exists today. We
are confronted with entirely
different questions about the

future, about how we should

use our resources and this
will be the theme for the next
50 years and we won t be able
to avoid it.
DS: Okay. But we wont mention
the taboo word sustainability
because what we mean is
suitability for the future?
AZ: Of course. I believe at
present everything is changing
very radically: industrialization,
society, and the new forms
of communication. We in
architecture also have to find
new solutions, which definitely
are also rooted in tradition.
DS: This raises the question
of the approach to architecture
again. If we can learn from all
periods and from everything that
has been built, are we then in a
post-modern environment?
AZ: Post-modernism as a style
in the 1980s was something I
simply did not register. Like the
glitter jackets from that era this
putting together of styles doesnt
interest me in the slightest.
DS: OK. This means you don t
strive for star architecture or
spectacles, but are rather open
to all periods and styles. But
nevertheless as an architect one
develops a certain repertoire
after some time.
AZ: Yes, but it changes. My
approach is not to be rigid but

rather open to new opportunities

and developments. There is
always this question about an
architects handwriting. And
I can be asked: what is your
handwriting? Is that a real
Zeytinoglu? Can one see that
from a distance of 3 km or not?
In fact Im relatively flexible
so that I can approach building
commissions in dif ferent ways
and I am not so stereotyped that
I use just one repertoire. It is also
interesting to experience new
challenges and then to discover
that something slightly different
always develops. And its not
the case that one says: my
facades are my facades, or my
entrances are my entrances and
my staircases are my staircases,
my doors are my doors, so that
it is clearly recognizable. No, I
believe that if you want to talk
in terms of repertoire mine
is highly diverse and wideranging

fruitful dialogue with the

client, in which the chemistry is
harmonious. His concern is the
essence of what is useful.
Dietmar Steiner, who was born
in Wels in 1951, is the Director
of the Architekturzentrum Wien,
President of the World Association of Architecture Museums, a
profound observer of worldwide
developments in architecture, and
an experienced moderator of the
dialogue between architects and
their clients.

To identify Arkan Zeytinoglus

architectural position in the
architecture one must respect
position. He has no ambition to
take part in the global game of
consumerist architecture based
on spectacles, or to pursue
the avarice for constantly new
sensations that fail to consider
the usability and usefulness of
the projects. He wants to realize
his conceptual and artistic
vision of an architecture of
moods and atmospheres in a


BAR ITALIA I Vienna, Austria 1996 1997

In the Blaze of the City

Bar Italia has an above and
a below. The bar above
is framed and divided by a
concrete baldachin, left unplastered. This division is defined
as a spatial folding element
constructed practically out of
itself. Body and space shift apart
from each other to form a conglomerate of interstitial spaces
extending between them. The
choice of materials, from leather
to concrete, velvet to wood, is
related to the play with light and
mirrors. An optical, illusionistic
formation of surface and space,
light and shadow.

During the day the city lls up with energy,

at night it sprays out life


BAR ITALIA LOUNGE I Vienna, Austria 2001

Down in the darkness of a

vaulted cellar, at night a weightless magical world of color and
lighting opens up that contains
a restaurant, a bar and a dance
floor. Indirect light sources make
the vault seem to float. Mirrors
on the ceiling and walls endlessly multiply the play of space.



RESTAURANT DO & CO ALBERTINA I Vienna, Austria 2002 2003

The dugout is understood as a spine and a

connection of the individual functional areas.



The museum cafe of the
Albertina is located above the
original ground floor of Viennas
city bastion. The long narrow
space is newly oriented along a
historic transverse axis of this domstic palace. The space-shaping
element, a dugout clad with
palisander wood, crosses this
axis, dividing the space into two
functional areas. The individual
functional zones rotate around
the long axis. The open kitchen
and ancillary spaces are on the
inner side, the restaurant and
bar form an open, southwestfacing space. The area for
guests is defined by continuous
leather bench seating. The composition of materials refers to
the opulence of the neighboring
state rooms in the palace.


And it is the light

which goes on a journey
through all edges and corners
till it gets to the very hidden place
where it gets so dark
that everything can be seen.
Arkan Zeytinoglu




CITY ON THE RIVER MUR I Graz, Austria 1996

Beyond the River

The concept for the district court
is based on the original proposed development structure.
In contrast to the existing block
perimeter development an open
permeable urban structure was
suggested: public squares, open
spaces and the relationship to
the Augarten Park opposite were
intended to introduce a stimulating exchange between urban
space and the space of nature.




COURTHOUSE GRAZ WEST I Graz, Austria 2000 2006

It takes years to get a stone to roll

It takes years and many hands to form a stone
When it then shines it gives its soul again
Years have passed.
Arkan Zeytinoglu



Mur Stone
As a strikingly placed riverside
rock, the free-standing building
is an important urban feature
that transforms the silhouette of
the River Mur. Eight stories high,
the interlocking building elements both open and close the
building. A glowing urban ship
for the surroundings, a protected
office atmosphere in the interior.
The building, a Mur clasp,
engages the nearby courthouse
building in an urban dialogue.

The three-story entrance hall provides the internal circulation to the courts
and the office areas and adopts the generous gesture of the semitransparent external skin. Walkways and bridges as waiting or circulation
areas give the light-flooded hall an open character.


The facade is a living element engaged in constant exchange

with the internal and external space of the building.





with Adrian-Martin Bucher


Sensitive Identity
The urban planning competition,
set up in 2003 by the City of
Klagenfurt, aimed at establishing
a link between the area to be
developed and the core city. The
green recreation area of two city
parks was to be continued into
the plot in the form of an open
development of the planned
building volumes (courthouse,
police commando, office and
commercial complex, housing).
The building heights are derived
not solely from functional and
economic considerations, i.e.
the uses and the various court
departments to be accommodated, but also define the (new)
courthouse as a center of identification in the new development.
The lightness of the multi-story
foyer is particularly emphasized
by the mesh of footbridge and
passageway-like circulation and
waiting areas.



The combination of glass and highly polished stainless steel as the leading
elements in the corridor and footbridge areas creates overlays of space
in space, the spatial boundaries alternately open and close. Massive
elements such as the stone plinth or wall are dissolved.




BWIN LOUNGE Allianz Arena I Munich, Germany 2005

Moving Playground
The long narrow spatial situation of the bwin Lounge and
the concentrated workstations
were both playfully eliminated
by a dynamically spatial design. The central element of the
metaphor of movement: the ball
race. This glowing yellow body
defines built dynamism.
A reduced form in which speed
is addressed thematically,
caught in the full-height hemisphere as the termination of the
space and a light fitting. The
proportions and dynamism of
the inserted ball race repeat the
energy of movement from inside
to outside.
The metaphor of the motion is the ball race.




BWIN SPORTSBAR I Vienna, Austria 2006 2008

Loop Space
The Sportsbar winds through the
space in the form of a three-dimensional loop, forming the bar
and seating, hollows and niches
to linger and communicate in.
Sporty, dynamic and, in terms of
color, tailored to the corporate
design black, white and
yellow the bar makes its way
through space and time.


PENTHOUSE S I Vienna, Austria 2003 2005

Spiral Case

Only God knows what there is in between. He created the distance between
the sun and the earth. Since then we have been trying to measure it, but are
still unable to define this relationship and what it means.
Arkan Zeytinoglu


THE AUSTRIAN PAVILION AT THE EXPO 2010 I Shanghai, China 2008 2010
with SPAN Architecture & Design

Bent Geometry
Music and architecture have
long been engaged in a stimulating relationship with each
other. For the Austrian Pavilion
in Shanghai the sound was
the driving force that reflects the
harmonious continuity of music
in the form of the architectural
volume. The basic conflict of the
weightiness and rigidity of architecture seems to be dispelled
outside and inside flow together
and the seamless transitions
between the individual sequences of space allow a flow of
movement to develop that leads
the visitor from the entrance area
through the exhibition site to the
exit. The resonance room forms
the centre of the pavilion, in
which Austrias musical legacy
from classical to the present day
is presented by means of audiovisual stimulation. The complex
curved surfaces could be precisely calculated and produced
only by means of topology, a
branch of mathematics. Spatial
vaulting as rhythmical movement
within a body of sound.




The continuously sweeping trajectories of the curvilinear

body generate a smooth organic flow.






It is one thing to use the earth: it is quite

another thing to receive the blessing of the
earth and to become at home in the law of this
reception, in order to shepherd the mystery of
being and to pay attention to the inviolability
of the possible.
Martin Heidegger



Sustainable Leisure

The farm La Donaira is situated in Andaluca (Spain) on

the north-western boundary of
the province of Malaga within
the termino de Ronda. It lies
at an altitude of 700 meters
above sea level and comprises
250 hectares of south-westerly
orientated fields, undulating hills
and a small rocky mountain with
hundreds of old stone-oak trees.
In the past century the farm was
mainly used for cattle and sheep
breeding with a low-profile agricultural production of wheat and
oats mainly as animal foodstuff.
Most of the land has barely
been worked at all in the last
decades. The existing fairly simple rustic cortijo and the stables
date back to 1910 and have
been in use until recently. La
Donaira has an adequate supply
of water but is not connected to
the public electricity grid.


The resort will be maintained

using a different approach from
the traditional high-end hotels.
40 cabanas provide accommodation for 80 people.
The old cortijo and the stables
will be converted into a social
center with reception, restaurant
and special purpose lounges.
The guest cabanas will be
grouped around the cortijo.
Above the cortijo in the old pig
shed a health and wellness center will feature in- and outdoor
swimming in natural rock pools,
sauna and baths, beauty and
health treatments. Just as a tree
produces oxygen, distilled water,
carbohydrates and complex
sugars by engaging with the sun
in a photosynthetic connection,
a building, a resort or a whole
city can interact with its environment in a similar way.




RESTAURANT GLACIS BEISL I Vienna, Austria 2002 2004

Just Traditional
The Glacis Beisl was established
on the site long before the
opening of Viennas Museumsquartier. It was redesigned in
2004. The layout and choice of
materials for the interior is based
on the traditional Viennese Beisl.
The planted garden for guests
in front of the restaurant has a
number of mature walnut trees;
thanks to the pergola and winter
garden it forms an entity with


the interior. The winter garden

is covered by a layer of colored
wood-based composite panels
whose edges and surfaces are
dissolved by leaf-shaped
cut-outs as protection from the
sun that creates a changing pattern of light and shadow in the
interior and establishes an atmosphere reminiscent of woodland
flooded by sunlight.


HOTEL WHITE ROCK I Maria Wrth, Austria 2007 2009


Falling Water

A stone is built on the green slope.

Firstly almost touching the shore, the
narrow side terraced. Embedded in
greenery, like the cliffs on the northern
shore. Secondly the broad side, set
into the slope until it disappears. The
heavyweight in the third line that holds
the building, shifted from the shore,
gives the volume of the formation natural
proportions. Water flows over the stone.
Arkan Zeytinoglu

Carinthias largest lake is known

for its characteristic turquoise
color that is caused by lime particles in the water. The small lime
plates are deposited in the shore
areas and form light gray chalk
banks that extend along the
shores of the lake. A terraced
hotel on the southern shore of
Lake Wrthersee rises like a
white rock and is integrated
in the surrounding hilly landscape. The horizontal layering
of the building volume is underscored by the light-colored concrete parapets of the balconies
and the projecting roofs which
are grouped around a central
volume that forms the buildings
point. The composition of the
contour lines (floor levels) gives
the building an organic identity and integrates it in its natural



Light and Angle

The ensemble comprises a total
of 6 building volumes, some of
which snuggle up against each
other. The building volumes
function as light funnels which,
through their geometry (bending
and refracting), capture sunlight and produce light-flooded
intermediate spaces on the
site to be developed. Light is
reflected and refracted due to
the angle chosen or the way the
volumes are tilted towards each
other. The geometrical layout
chosen and the spatial vibrations
produced by the relationship
of the volumes give the spatial
ensemble a special tonality. In
architecture the composition of
space space becomes dynamic wherever the tension between
the simultaneous appears as a
course of time: out of spatial art
emerges time art. The buildings
and the joints between them are
spaces made up of air and light
that, like tones, produce a musical and architectural harmony.


HOTEL FALKENSTEINER CARINZIA I Trpolach, Austria 2003 2005

The Built Landscape

Hotel Carinzia at the foot of the
Nassfeld manifests the dialogue
between landscape and built
fabric and defines internal and
external landscapes in a holistic
architectural composition. Like a
built foothill of the Sonnenalpe
this resort hotel incorporates
its natural setting. Generously
sized atria with water courses
and sufficient planting allow
nature to be experienced in
the interior of the hotel. Urban
squares, waterfalls and galleries
serve as the circulation structure
instead of long corridors, the
central interface is always the
generously glazed lobby, which
is an atrium gorge that gathers
the entire complex (restaurant
area, bars, 160 bedrooms and
wellness and spa zone) around
itself. The entire building is a
landscape that expands to create special spaces: At every
single step the eye is offered a
new sound element of the archi-

tectural composition, whether

it be a view of the buildings or
greenery in the distance or of
the pleasantly ordered nearby
surroundings. Different spatial
experiences allow the guest to
embark upon a mood journey
through the building: a sacred
ambiance in the sauna, which
is expressed in the lighting and
the atmospheric materials, creates spaces for calm and for the
senses. Different colors and light
are used to divide the restaurant
area into various zones.
Externally the hotel complex
expands the rural structure and
forms a strong new center.
Corners, curves and light edges
structure the 200-meter-long
building and dissolve its scale.
By presenting a permanent
blending between outside and
inside outdoor space is also
maximized and brought inside
the building.

Architects, it lies in your hands [] to extend the empire of these cramped

rectangular rooms to the boundaries of the horizon, as far as you can reach.
The human being that you serve with your plans and your designs has
eyes, and, behind these mirrors, has a world of feelings, a soul, and a heart.
Externally your architectural works will add something to the landscape,
but internally they will absorb it.
Le Corbusier in To Students



The entire building is a landscape that expands to create special spaces:

At every single step the eye is offered a new sound element of the
architectural composition, whether it be a view of the buildings or greenery
in the distance or of the pleasantly ordered nearby surroundings.



Different spatial experiences allow the guest to embark

upon a mood journey through the building.


The light and atmosphere of the spaces differentiate and

form semi-separate rooms for quiet and for the senses.



And still we continue trying to find out how to master the in between,
so we could control and understand the existence of earth and sun, because
only the distance created sun and earth, the one and the other. The distance
is the light, invisible and not being heard, making things exist by putting
them into relation.
Arkan Zeytinoglu


BUSINESS HOTEL LEOBEN I Leoben, Austria 2006 2008

In the Light of Asia

Fundamental reflections upon
establishing a piece of China in
Leoben. An attempt.
How does someone feel who
travels to China and finds there
built imitations of Austrian
villages, i.e. copies. They are
admissible, as they already exist. They are certainly questionable, as they cannot reflect the
genius loci; they have no identity
in the physical sense and thus
contradict the creative spirit. Or
has everything already become
interchangeable? A house will
always remain a house, even if
it stands somewhere else, but it
seems that the physical quality
of a house is always influenced
by its environment or depends
upon and is determined by it.
It seems entirely conceivable if
one restricts oneself to building the content of the project as
an intellectual, creative idea,
which has an identity and takes
the regional circumstances into
account. Looked at like this, it
can be helpful to reflect on the
philosophy of Far Eastern spatial
concepts, the cosmos of space
and time, in order to give the
project reality and truth. The
concept of the project can be
read as a carpet that lies in the
water meadow of the river Mur,
is linked by paths with different
zones and areas, horizontally
and vertically and woven with


inside and outside, with emptiness and being. Emptiness cut

out of a mass, like the mountain
Erzberg, hollowed in order to
create spaces, of iron and stone.
In the interior of the building
man becomes part of the whole
and the whole part of himself.
Cause and effect as a principle
that brings about the order and
transformation of things, within
which action can be natural and
effortless and walking through
walls achieves a transformation of the spirit. One builds
a house of walls, penetrated
by doors and windows, but the
emptiness, the nothingness is
what first makes it habitable.

The Forbidden City, 2006

concept sketch and model photo





HOTEL ACQUAPURA FUNIMATION I Katschberg, Austria 2003 2004


Material of Landscape
The language of the Acquapura
Funimation in the high Alpine
region on the border between
Carinthia and Salzburg is the
diversity of the landscape, the
poetry of its elements. River and
water, earth and stones, light
and air. The building reacts to
the topography of the site, absorbs the surrounding landscape
and repeatedly reveals the
view. The existing hotel and the
new building interlock and are
connected by two circulation
towers. Planted terraces and tectonic building volumes that follow the level of the slope, create
a wellness landscape that relates
to nature and opens towards
the valley and the mountains.
Inwards the guest has more

intimate areas: beauty and massage areas are grouped around

protective light-wells that offer
a view of the outdoor facilities,
sauna and meditation area create their own closed landscape
with Kneipp pools, whirlpool
and a cold water channel
embedded in an artificial gorge.
The high-altitude hotel (1.650
meters above sea level), complex and organized, creates
a hotel landscape that constantly corresponds with outdoor
space. Intimacy and generosity of the view are celebrated
equally. Sun terraces, planted
flat roofs, small, functionally
allotted courtyards created an
integral whole.






Inwards the guest has more intimate areas: beauty and massage areas
are grouped around protective light-wells that offer a view of the outdoor
facilities, sauna and meditation area create their own closed landscape
with Kneipp pools, whirlpool and a cold water channel embedded in an
artificial gorge.


River and water, earth and stones, light and air.




ROOFTOP MH1 I Vienna, Austria 2004 2008

The wing-like shape of the sky-lobby results from the dissolution of the
group of chimneys. This was aimed at in order to articulate the resulting
roof space horizontally, to separate it from the main roof and to prevent
the ridge running into the group of chimney tops.


After the Bomb

This building, erected in the
Grnderzeit era, which originally had a richly decorated
facade and a tower at the northeastern corner, was severely
damaged in the Second World
War. Subsequently it was given
an economy version facade,
shorn of all decorative elements
and structured only by the
window openings. The present
remodeling is a redesign of the
entire building, from the ground
floor zone with the shops to the
corner solution with dormers.
A new two-story building is
erected on the roof. It forms
the roof surface, two thirds of
which slopes at a pitch of 60
degrees and one third at 45 degrees. Bands of glazing articulate the roof surface to prevent
it appearing too massive. These
strip windows subdivide the

roof surface in order to articulate it horizontally and in formal

terms take up the language of
the faade divisions. The two
roof stories are similar in terms
of plan and distribution of functions. The sky-lounge lies above
the two office levels. The roof
terrace itself is staged nature
above the roofs of the city. An
individual architectural landscape made of wooden decks
which are multi-functional in
design and serve as furniture for
sitting, lying or leaning against.




Light is neither dark nor bright, neither colorful nor gray, only when it
touches something, it gives the something a shape, a color, a body
a soul and it discovers everything, not being locked by any door, making
its way into the very heart of anything, giving something value, worth
being remembered.
Arkan Zeytinoglu


Views define flexibly planned offices.


The Frontdesk 586 cm x 107.5 cm x 73 cm

Desk-top white-coated, main body upholstered
in leather, plinth polished stainless steel.




SKY OFFICE SPERL I Vienna, Austria 2000 2003


The existing late 19th century
building occupies a prominent
position in an inner city
streetscape. The new offices added on top combine the traditional language of a mansard roof
with a contemporary idiom to
form a unified entity. A second
cornice determines the structuring of the new faade, horizontal articulation is employed. The
scale of the three new stories is
concealed by the rhythm of the
faade, the cornice and the roof
pitch. In terms of height the new
roof is in general adapted to the
silhouette of the street, but the
existing corner tower is extended
upwards by a glazed volume
that defines a new crowning
urban element. In this way the
proportions of the original roof
are recreated. The use of a loadbearing primary structure and
non-load bearing secondary
structure creates a maximum of
space and light and a feeling of
generosity in the interior. Steel
frames like the metal hull of a
ship encompass the office space
and allow it to open permeably
into the roofscape.





PENTHOUSE FILL15 I Vienna, Austria 2007 2010

Light transports everything. If you want to move,

you just get on it and go somewhere else.
You listen to the rhythm and dance.
Arkan Zeytinoglu





ROOFTOP HOMA I Vienna, Austria 2000 20033


On the Top
A recessed attic story without
dormer windows blends with
the existing eaves point but
without meeting it, leaving the
structural form of the existing
building untouched. The shape
and detailing were chosen so as
not to injure the character of the
horizontally articulated facade
and to match the heights of its
external appearance.



Lateral Thinking
Between 1942 and 1945 six
reinforced concrete flak towers
(anti-aircraft defense towers)
were erected in Vienna, three
G-towers (gun or combat
towers), each with a nearby
L-tower (lead or command
tower). After the war it proved
impossible to demolish them and
today they are protected monuments. Repeated attempts have
been made to find new functions
for them, but a suitable permanent use could only be found in
the case of the tower in the
Esterhazy Park, which houses the
Haus des Meeres (Aqua Terra
Zoo). The tower in the Arenberg
Park (footprint 47 x 47 meters,
height 42 meters) is used as an

art depot for the Museum of

Applied Arts, but only temporarily opened to the public. The
concept for a Center of Research
and Technology on the tower in
the Esterhazy Park is based on
the powerful symbol which the
tower presents. Its height and dimensions are emphasized by the
element built on top. Above
and below communicate
with each other in an appropriate relationship. A gesture of
opposition to the powerful and



The technical tradition of the old buildings is given an updating by the

appearance of the new elements. Not just structurally but also in terms
of content, a leap from the third dimension into a further one should be
attempted in order to confirm urban space as an interactive stage, and to
understand research, information technology etc. as the tools and
representation of democracy.


Inside Outside
The cattle sheds (Rinderhallen)
in the urban district of St. Marx
represent a unique gem of Viennese architectural history that
are intended to function in the
future as symbols of identity for
the St. Marx development center.
The goal is to develop this area
of the city as an office and
technology district with suitable
cultural and leisure facilities and
to use and design it with a new
urban identity. In May 1877 the
municipal council passed a decision to erect the Viennese Central Abattoir Market. The central
building, known as the Rinderhalle (cattle shed), was the first
wrought-iron structure in the city.
It consists of two independent
triple-aisled halls. On their long
sides they are connected with
each other by a roofed street
(street aisle). The hall is characterized by the lightness of

its structure; iron and glass were

also used for the building envelope. Following damage in the
Second World War and renovation and modernization from
1968 to 1975, in 1993 parts
of the site and the cattle sheds
were placed under a preservation order. The preservation of
the cattle sheds plays a central
role in the revitalization of the
district of St. Marx. With its grid
of slender columns the hall forms
the load-bearing geometry. Two
autonomous volumes, like passers-by, are parked in the halls
like ships in a dry dock. With
their booms and their staggered
positioning the catamarans
articulate the space of the hall,
blending the historic construction
with the glazed implantations.
The hangar has become the skin
(envelope) of a new building.


OBSCURA 360 I Light Installation, 2010

Allegory of the Cube or

a Field Test
The square is the abstraction
of the circle. The cube that of
the sphere. Areas of mirror with
eyes line the interior of the
cube to allow the nothing to
appear. As points of light, the
eyes in their projection produce
the infinite space.


JEWELRY DESIGN MAX I Vienna, Austria 2003

All and Nothing

A small jewelry shop in Viennas
inner city. The consistent use
of mirror in the interior makes
the long, narrow room into an
infinite space. The expansion of
the space creates an additional
connection between indoors and
outdoors the invisible becomes
visible. Material is dematerialized by being strengthened in
the geometry of the floor plan.
Space and time flow together.
The depicted and the depiction
are in an allegory, comparable
to the gliding logic of the soul,
transparent to each other, yet
separated by a glass wall.




with Flatz Architects


The Green Carpet

The starting point for this concept is a radial grouping of all
functions and functional units
around the centrally positioned
library. Hierarchies are broken
up, spaces and building parts
are linked both vertically and
horizontally, as it were. In this
concept the campus-like outdoor
space is not just manifested
as a green outdoor area but
is actually brought inside the
buildings structures. The built
open space in the central main
library building is made possible
by reciprocally open spatial
relationships to the inside and
outside. The architectural concept of a green carpet is based
on condensing indoor with outdoor space, the range of lecture
halls with the break-out zones,
cafs and areas for individual
study, and with the deep roots
of the various departments and
research groups.
The green carpet does not act
like an isolated building but
offers an additional, functionally
open area that can be actively
appropriated by the public.
Conceived on the basis of close
interweaving with the surroundings, this structure represents
additional functional and spatial
amenities and forms new landscapes. The symbiotic understanding of city and building.




Library & Learning Center

The intention is that the Library

& Learning Center, a complex
block of knowledge and learning, should be spatially understandable from outside as well
as in itself (from inside). The
condensing of information and
knowledge should not be restricted to individual zones but rather
distributed through the buildings
entire volume. This varied distribution is to be achieved by work
platforms that float like islands
in space and create continuous
voids. Spaces that open on alternate sides allow communication
and the exchange of knowledge,
closed rooms offer concentration
and quiet zones. The library,
a depository of knowledge and
place of learning, should also
see itself as a space of movement and perception. The mix
of spatial functions encourages
us to see the various areas of
knowledge together; the communication and selection of
knowledge are to be the important elements in the new way of
learning. Four structural cores on
which the library rests, like an oil
rig, house the supply and extract
services as well as the internal






The Bridge and

the Tower
Both these planned development areas are at the city front
where they benefit from excellent transport connections and
from the coastal strip yet to be
utilized. Through their size and
the emblematic character of
the design The Bridge and the
Tower emerge as symbols in a
visual and spatial relationship
to the metropolis and accompany the city alongside the new
coastal strip to the new horizons
of its future development. The
Bridge is on Sentosa Island,
which is entirely devoted to the
concept of family leisure and is
easy to reach from Singapore.
In this resort two overlapping
wings mark the harbor entry of
the new marina. The complex
is organized around the large
entrance hall, from the hotel in
the upper wing and the casino
hovering above the water to the
entertainment areas at ground
floor level. The entrance hall
also opens towards the outdoor
facilities, which, in addition to
pleasure parks, long sections
of beach and luxury villas, also
harbor other attractions. Directly
beside the city center of Singapore, The Tower is located on
a site which is yet to be developed. From its base, divided by
a pedestrian zone, The Tower
rises on two legs that meet at
around the middle and from
there rise vertically together.

The entrance to the resort is

located directly under the legs;
you enter a kind of lobby that
spans the pedestrian zone like
a bridge and connects all the
buildings functions.



The Tower

The Bridge


Vanilla Sky


List of Works

BAR ITALIA I Vienna, Austria 1996 1997

CAF BAR FABIANI HOTEL EUROPA I Salzburg, Austria 2000 2001
HOTEL THERESIANUM I Vienna, Austria 2000 2001
PENTHOUSE VSG I Vienna, Austria 2000 2001
ROOFTOP HOMA I Vienna, Austria 2000 2003
SKY OFFICE SPERL I Vienna, Austria 2000 2003
PENTHOUSE F15 I Vienna, Austria, 2000 2004
HOUSING GG I Vienna, Austria 2000 2005
COURTHOUSE GRAZ WEST I Graz, Austria 2000 2006
BAR ITALIA LOUNGE I Vienna, Austria 2000 2008
PALAIS COLLALTO I Vienna, Austria 2001
HOTEL EUROPA I Vienna, Austria 2001 2002
LOFT H I Vienna, Austria 2002
RESTAURANT DO & CO ALBERTINA I Vienna, Austria 2002 2003
PENTHOUSE HIH I Vienna, Austria 2002 2003
ROOFTOP HG I Vienna, Austria 2002 2003
VILLA H I Lorenzenberg, Austria 2002 2003
RESTAURANT GLACIS BEISL I Vienna, Austria 2002 2004
VILLA SEKIRN I Wrthersee, Austria 2003
JEWELRY DESIGN MAX I Vienna, Austria 2003
CAF EUROPA I Vienna, Austria 2003 2004
HOTEL ACQUAPURA FUNIMATION I Katschberg, Austria 2003 2004
VILLA M I Vienna, Austria 2003 2004
HOTEL FALKENSTEINER CARINZIA I Trpolach, Austria 2003 2005
PENTHOUSE S I Vienna, Austria 2003 2005
COURTHOUSE KLAGENFURT I Klagenfurt, Austria 2003 2007
SHOP LG I Vienna, Austria 2004
BOATHOUSE I Traunkirchen, Austria 2004 2005
ROOFTOP MH1 I Vienna, Austria 2004 2008
PALAIS PAULITSCH I Klagenfurt, Austria 2005
BWIN OFFICE I Vienna, Austria 2005
VILLA REIFNITZ I Wrthersee, Austria 2005 2006
BUSINESS HOTEL LEOBEN I Leoben, Austria 2006 2008
BWIN SPORTSBAR I Vienna, Austria 2006 2008
CITY HOTEL BRATISLAVA I Bratislava, Slovakia 2006 2008
HOTEL LSH I Vienna, Austria 2006 2008


HOTEL & SPA BAD WALTERSDORF I Interior Design, Waltersdorf, Austria 2006 2009
ROOFTOP F12 I Vienna, Austria 2006 2011
HOTEL AM SCHOTTENFELD I Vienna, Austria 2007 2009
PENTHOUSE FILL15 I Vienna, Austria 2007 2010
COURTHOUSE INNSBRUCK I Innsbruck, Austria 2008
HOTEL 25 HOURS I Vienna, Austria 2008
HOTEL BODEGON I Cartagena, Columbia 2008
MEDICAL PRACTICE Z I Klagenfurt, Austria 2008
EMERALD SUITE I Velden, Austria 2008 2009
VILLA R I Vienna, Austria 2008 2009
ITALIC BAR RESTAURANT I Vienna, Austria 2009
PENTHOUSE LF15 I Vienna, Austria 2009 2010
RESTAURANT INDOCHINE I Vienna, Austria 2009 2010
TSW TAUERN SPA WORLD I Interior Design, Kaprun, Austria 2009 2010
RESIDENCES TS I Vienna, Austria 2009 2011
HOTEL & RESORT MIVKA I Bled, Slovenia 2010
PALAIS PRINCIPE HM12 I Vienna, Austria 2010
THE GUEST HOUSE, HOTEL FUEG I Vienna, Austria 2010
VILLA S I Trofaiach, Austria 2010 - 2011
AQUA DOME THERMAL SPA I Lngenfeld, Austria 2011
HOUSE B I Vienna, Austria 2011
HOUSE K I Vienna, Austria 2011
ROOFTOP F9 I Vienna, Austria 2011
THERMAL SPA GEINBERG I Geinberg, Austria 2011


List of Works
Projects / Studies

CITY ON THE RIVER MUR I Graz, Austria 1996

RESORT BALI OASIS I Indonesia 2001
CREPERIE SST I Vienna, Austria 2002
OFFICE & RESTAURANT MGH I Vienna, Austria 2002
MAK CAF I Vienna, Austria 2003
OFFICE AH I Vienna, Austria 2003
APARTMENT & RESORT TRAUNKIRCHEN I Traunkirchen, Austria 2003 2004
BREWERY EGGENBERG PALACE I Eggenberg, Austria 2004
SAUNA PRATER I Vienna, Austria 2004
AUENPARK VILLAS I Wrthersee, Austria 2005
PINARES PALACE I Malaga, Spain 2005
RESIDENTIAL BUILDING KFS I Klagenfurt, Austria 2005 2006
ALPINE SPA RESORT I Bad Aussee, Austria 2006
BUKOVEL HOTELS I Bukovel, Ukraine 2006
BUSINESS HOTEL KIEV I Kiev, Ukraine 2006
HOTEL KNAPPLHOF I Ennstal, Austria 2006
HOTEL KOPAONIK I Kopaonik, Serbia 2006
HOTEL ZHOVTNEVIJ I Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine 2006
MEDIA CITY TOWER DUBAI I Dubai, United Arab Emirates 2006
CITY CENTER KOSICE I Kosice, Slovakia 2006 2008
GOLDEN PINE RESORT I Palisad, Serbia 2007
HOTEL BAD MITTERNDORF I Bad Mitterndorf, Austria 2007
HOTEL CASINO KIEV I Kiev, Ukraine 2007
HOTEL KOLPINGHAUS I Vienna, Austria 2007
HOTEL WHITE ROCK I Wrthersee, Austria 2007 2009
BAR F1 I Vienna, Austria 2008
GOLF CLUB SELTENHEIM I Seltenheim, Austria 2008
HOTEL AROSEA I Yasnogorodka, Ukraine 2008
HOTEL ZLATIBOR I Zlatibor, Serbia 2008
OFFICES CG I Vienna, Austria 2008



HOTEL SCH28 I Vienna, Austria 2009
MAIN STATION SWV I Vienna, Austria 2009
MOUNTAIN RESORT MALTA I Carinthia, Austria 2009
VILLA SENNEWALD I Carinthia, Austria 2009
TIBET HOTEL HTTENBERG I Httenberg, Austria 2009 2010
DENTAL SURGERY - Interior Design I Vienna, Austria 2010
MAMISON PEAK I Caucasus 2010
HOTEL DOPPIO I Vienna, Austria 2010
HOTEL RESORT GARDASEE I Lake Garda, Italy 2010
LAKESIDE HOTEL WERZERS I Carinthia, Austria 2010
LOISIUM WINE & SPA RESORT I Styria, Austria 2010
OFFICE BUILDING FM1 I Vienna, Austria 2010
OFFICE BUILDING JOSKO I Vienna, Austria 2010


Team Members
Slaven Beric, Jakub Bruer, Wolfgang Ennser, Ariana Grll,
Petra Gschanes, Alexander Jarau, Regina Kiem, Brigitte Marschall,
Christa Panzenberger, Jrgen Rgener, Pia Zippermayr
Dijana Arapovic, Engelbert Auer, Glhan Aydintan, Susy Baasel,
Thomas Brtl, Harald Bittermann, Michaela Dimmel, Doris Fritz,
Martina Gadotti Rodrigues, Rdiger Ingartner, Kristof Jarder, Mia Kim,
Georg Kolmayr, Markus Korak, Thomas Kuscher, Florian Lohberger,
Nikolaus Passath, Nicholas Perdula, Thomas Platzer, Manuel Singer,
Matthias Schindegger, Barbara Stoiber, Michael Stoiser,
Claudia Swoboda, Stephan Vary


MANUELA HTZL, who was born in Graz in 1972, is an author, curator and editor. She has worked since 1992 as an architecture critic for
national and international architecture magazines. She develops concepts
for publications and communications ideas that focus on the area of
architecture (redaktionsbuero architektur).
FLORIAN MEDICUS, who was born in Salzburg in 1977, is an architect
and curator and also teaches Load-bearing Constructions at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna and History and Theory of Architecture at
the Leopold-Franzens University in Innsbruck.
WOLFGANG PAUSER, who was born in Vienna in 1959, works as a
free-lance essayist. He writes cultural analyzes of markets, products and
brands and is a consultant, conceptionist and copywriter for the Viennese
branding agency Brainds.
DIETMAR STEINER, who was born in Wels in 1951, is the Director of
the Architekturzentrum Wien, President of the World Association of
Architecture Museums, a profound observer of worldwide developments
in architecture, and an experienced moderator of the dialogue between
architects and their clients.


Image Credits
HERTHA HURNAUS 264269 I 274277 I 282283
isochrom I ARMIN HESS 148 I 300301 I 302303 I 314317 I 318319 I 325
ANGELO KAUNAT 146147 I 149 I 150155 I 194195 I 242243 I 246249
ALEXANDER EUGEN KOLLER 140145 I 190193 I 212216 I 224225 I 229 I
230240 I 252253 I 255 I 256257 I 260263 I 284291
miss 3 s.r.o. 209211 I 218219 I 222223
PAUL OTT 166169
RALPH RICHTER 270272 I 278 I 280281 I 292293 I 294 I 296299
ARCHIV ZEYTINOGLU 1011 I 1819 I 3063 I 7278 I 86127 I 133 I 144 I
156161 I 206207 I 217 I 220221 I 227 I 244245 I 250251I 254 I
258259 I 304305 I 306307 I 320323


ARKAN ZEYTINOGLU, who was born in Klagenfurt in 1968, studied at

the University of Technology in Graz and the Cooper Union in New York.
This architect and designer heads the office of Zeytinoglu Architects,
which he founded in 1995 and which has offices in Vienna, Klagenfurt
and Istanbul. With around 15 permanent staff members this practice
offers an entire range of services in the areas of architecture and interior
design, extending to complete integrated design packages. Hotel design
is a particular focal point of Zeytinoglu Architects.