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Günther Domenig & Eilfried Huth
  • Architects

Key figures of the radical Austrian architecture scene that emerged in the early 1960s, Eilfried Huth and Günther Domenig produced a rich and original body of work marking a fundamental break with the dominant functionalism of the period. Their experimental projects, which appear to be more like evolving environments rather than frozen objects, were an acknowledgement of this decisive mutation. In their first projects, like those of Coop Himmelb(l)au and Haus-Rucker-Co, they explored the potentialities of inflatables (Trigon, 1967). They went on to design several precursor projects, ranging in scope from their megastructure (Stadt Ragnitz, 1969) to “green architecture” (Floraskin, 1971). The architects drew inspiration from cutting-edge theories of information of the time, including those from the field of cybernetics. The architecture they designed, often in the form of megastructures, emerged from a multitude of interactions between different levels of organization exchanging information within a global system. The Medium Total project (1969-70), a virtually living organism, is an example among others of their forms of expression. Using a representation of flux taken from medical imagery, their biomorphic aesthetic echoes the communicational aspect of physiology and to a certain extent prefigures future research in computational architecture.

Günther Domenig (1934), graduated in 1959, and Eilfried Huth (1930), graduated in 1956, both from the Technische Hochschule in Graz. Working together between 1963 and 1973, they developed a series of projects which at the time were among the most radical in Austria. Laureates of numerous prizes, they built the Pädagogische Akademie der Diözese Graz-Seckau (Graz-Eggenberg, 1964-69) and the Olympics Pavilion (Swimming Hall) (Munich, 1970-72). They participated in many historic exhibitions (Günther Feuerstein’s Urban Fiction, Vienna, 1967) and retrospectives (Visionen der Moderne, Deutsches Architekturmuseum, Frankfurt, 1986). After their separation, in 1986 Günther Domenig began transforming his own house, a composition of overlapping metal “rocks;” into a living organism in constant evolution (Steinhaus or “Stone House”).