The Brooklyn Rail

APR 2010

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APR 2010 Issue


Raimund Abraham was the architectural conscience of our time. His words and his works insisted on a humanist basis of architecture, one rooted equally in the abstract inventions of the mind and the sensuous materiality of the body. Without him, we are left rudderless and adrift—unless we are inspired by his example to reaffirm architecture’s original and difficult, dialectical meaning.

—Lebbeus Woods

Raimund Abraham in 2002 standing in front of the Austrian Cultural Forum Tower. Photo by Dodo Jin Ming.
Raimund Abraham in 2002 standing in front of the Austrian Cultural Forum Tower. Photo by Dodo Jin Ming.

In Raimund Abraham, the international avant-garde loses one of its most visionary architects, academia an outstanding mentor, the country a critical and independent thinker, and I a friend. Always true to himself, he expounded his experimental, progressive, and emancipatory philosophy of architecture passionately and without compromise. With him, the complexity of the elemental made every form an explosion of ideas. He never recognized building as the actual purpose of architecture, but rather held up the power of his imagination against the stupefying process of construction.

—Peter Noever


Raimund Abraham was the most difficult of friends
and one of the few genuine artists of the XXth Century. As a teacher he had the ability to understand a project beyond all rules or standards. And none was more acute or cutting than he.

His dramatic quarrel with the banality of the world often led him far from any consensus. It was a radical and cosmic contrariness that he paid for in person and nonchalantly.

Raimund was alone, proudly and boldly unique by choice and by destiny. To approach him as a friend was a way to draw him away from himself. That may be why Raimondo destroyed any relationship he didn’t consider radically authentic.

His passing is the last mocking gesture against solidarity.

—Massimo Scolari


Lebbeus Woods

Lebbeus Woods is an American architect and artist.

Peter Noever

Noever is the author of Architecture in Transition: Between Deconstruction and New Modernism.

Massimo Scolari


The Brooklyn Rail

APR 2010

All Issues