This article is from the archives of the UB Reporter.

Austrian architect Tschapeller to deliver McHale Lecture

Published: October 28, 2004

Reporter Contributor

Austrian architect Wolfgang Tschapeller, the 2004 McHale Fellow in the School of Architecture and Planning, uses the textures of the city—existing buildings or residual structures of buildings, such as the reinforced, concrete skeleton constructions of the 1960s, as well as traffic routes, bridges or artificial deposits—as three-dimensional building sites.

"There is generally no ground in the city; we generally build on structures, which are accidentally more or less flush with the surface," says Tschapeller who believes that when the city itself becomes the building site, the "landscape" and the "city" absorb each other's roles and architecture becomes a second-generation creation.

Tschapeller will deliver the School of Architecture and Planning's 2004 McHale Lecture on Nov. 18 as part of its Fall Lecture Series. The McHale Fellowship, is named for former UB faculty member Magda Cordell McHale and John McHale, who were among the founders of the Independent Group, a British architecture movement. The fellowship is intended to support design work that addresses the impact of new technologies on architecture.

Other lecturers in the UB series will be Canadian architect Brian MacKay-Lyons, who will speak on Nov. 3, and Billie Tsien, a founding partner of the New York-based studio Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects, who will speak on Nov. 10. All lectures, which are free and open to the public, will be held at 5:30 p.m. in 301 Crosby Hall, South Campus.

Tschapeller, who works out of a design studio in Vienna, has received numerous awards for his work. Major projects include the District Commissioner's Building in Murau, remodeling of the Sigmund Freud House in Vienna and the Wittensteingrunde apartments in Vienna.

MacKay-Lyons' work has captured an international audience, earning more than 55 awards for design, including five Governor General's Medals—Canada's highest award for architectural excellence—and four Canadian Architect Awards. He practices in Halifax, Nova Scotia, focusing on houses, urban design commissions and public buildings.

A professor at Dalhousie University Faculty of Architecture, his current research includes the LaHave House Project, which explores the creation of an automated architectural-design service based on an industrial-design approach to architecture. Under this approach, architects design families of similarly structured objects, rather than individual structures, curbing design costs.

A painter, teacher and member of numerous art juries and societies across the country, Tsien is interested in work that bridges art and architecture. She holds a bachelor of fine arts degree from Yale University and a master's degree in architecture from UCLA.

Her work with Tod Williams—her husband as well as her professional partner—includes a major addition to the Phoenix Art Museum, a science building and aquatic center for The Emma Willard School in Troy, N.Y., and the Neurosciences Institute in La Jolla, Calif., which won a national American Institute of Architects (AIA) Honor Award. The office currently is working on the Museum of Folk Art in New York City and an arts center at The Johns Hopkins University.

Tsien and Williams have received the Brunner Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Medal of Honor from the New York City chapter of the AIA and the Chrysler Award for Design Innovation.

For more information about the lecture series, contact the School of Architecture and Planning at 829-3485, ext. 114.