Haus Rucker – Co

The Austrian association of architects and artists is founded in Vienna in 1967 by Laurids Ortner (b. 1941) and Günter Zamp Kelp (b. 1941). Later, the group is joined by Manfred Ortner (b. 1943) and Klaus Pinter (b. 1940). »Haus-Rucker-Co« refers to the origins of three of the association’s members. »Hausruck« is the name of a mountain range in upper Austria, and »Haus-Rucker« is name and concept at the same time. In a figural sense it describes the act of shifting old houses to make room for new forms of creative work.

In 1970 the association moves to Düsseldorf and in 1971 to New York, in order to redefine the relationship between architecture/art and a changed environmental consciousness (pneumatic Environments: Ballon für Zwei, 1967). The architects understand their drafts and installations as »provisional architecture,« made from materials that can be de-installed. One of these projects emerging in Vienna, Düsseldorf, Krefeld, and New York is the utopian plan for urban expansion in New York, entitled Pneumacosm (1967). The association deliberately situates itself between design, action art, and all artistic formats that concern single rooms, spaces, as well as their connotations (Riesenbillard, 1970). Many projects remain on a virtual level; they provide graphical and model solutions for planning and interventions into public space, or they constitute a political appeal, as in the case of the proposal for a covering structure of »Haus Lange« in Krefeld (Cover, 1971).

In 1972 the group divides into »Haus-Rucker-Co,« located in Düsseldorf (Orter & Ortner, Zamp Kelp) and »Haus-Rucker-Inc.« in New York (Pinter, Michels), the New York group existing until 1977. Pinter eventually works as an artist and Michels as a journalist. Haus-Rucker-Co participates in Documenta 5 and 6 (Oase Nr. 7;Rahmenbau Linz). Towards the end of the 1970s, their architectural projects become more geared towards actual implementation and use (Projekt Rauchstraße, Berlin 1980).

In 1987 Laurids Ortner & Manfred Ortner and Günter Zamp Kelp start independent architecture firms. In 1992 »Haus-Rucker-Co« ceases to exist as an association.

Selected Literature

Ortner & Ortner: 3 Bauten für Europäische Kultur, Klagenfurt, Köln 1998

Ortner & Ortner: 2 Baukunstwerke, Berlin 1994

Ortner & Ortner: Baukunst, Linz, Köln 1993

Haus-Rucker-Co, Denkräume – Stadträume 1967 — 1992: Ausst.-Kat. Kunsthalle Wien, hg. v. D. Bogner, Klagenfurt 1992

Haus-Rucker-Co, 1967 — 1983: Ausst.-Kat. Frankfurt 1983

Design ist unsichtbar, hg. v. Helmuth Gsöllpointner, Angela Hareiter, Laurids Ortner, Wien 1980

Ortner, Laurids: Provisorische Architektur, Wien 1976

Foto: Tobias Roch, Hagen Bildrechte: VG Bild Kunst, Bonn 2014 Bildrechte: Calder Foundation New York / Foto Stiftung Lehmbruck Museum Bildrechte: gemeinfrei, Foto: Peter Hinschläger

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