Architecture Is Not a Product

Architect Heinz Tesar belongs to the generation of Viennese architects who were taught by Professor Ronald Rainer and commenced their creative careers in the 1970s. In his work, art and painting intertwine with architecture, theory and teaching. Heinz Tesar has taught at many universities all over the world: from the USA to Germany, Switzerland and Italy. He has received a wide range of important awards for his works, including the Grand Austrian State Prize, and he exhibits his work in various museums and galleries worldwide. Many important books and monographs have been published on his work.

We agreed to conduct an interview with him at the Piran Days of Architecture 2012, where he delivered a lecture for the second time (the first being in 1986) and presented his views on architectural creation. The interview was held in his Vienna studio on 31 May 2013.

Photo: Tamás Bujnovszky

Sketch: Synagogue at the place of construction Semperschen 1997, Dresden, Germany
Photo: Heinz Tesar’s Archive

 The debate on context remains topical and necessary. I want to make a constructive contribution to the contemporary time, and to the architecture that can be called architecture.

»Christ, Hope of the World« Catholic Church 1997–2000, Donau City Vienna, Austria, with Marc Tesar
Photo: Christian Richters

Klosterneuburg Protestant Church 1993–95, Klosterneuburg bei Wien, Austria
Photo: Margherita Spiluttini

Essl Museum 1996–99, Klosterneuburg bei Wien, Austria
Photo: Christian Richters

Bode Museum 1996–2006, Museum Island Berlin, Germany, Permanent exhibition
Photo: Christian Richters

I discovered very early that architecture is not a product. There is a difference between architecture and a product. Not least on the basis of genius loci and thinking in context.


The complete article is published in Summer issue of Piranesi No. 32 Vol. 21.

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