And I would like to unequivocally state my opposition to the legacy of Helmut Richter being in any way impaired or disfigured, or even demolished and replaced by new buildings. The pledge reads: “I trust that Helmut Richter’s legacy and memory will be preserved by the responsible authorities according to the highest standards. “Beauty is a rare phenomenon, it should be preserved for next generations,” added Berlin-based architect Zvi Hecker, who has also offered his backing. “Helmut Richter’s architecture has proved to be groundbreaking and has had a lasting effect through the work of his various students,” reads a statement from the committee. Related story: Michael Graves’ Portland Building faces threat of demolitionHelmut Richter, who died earlier this year, completed the steel-framed school building in 1994. French architect Dominique Perrault, MAD principal Ma Yansong, historian Kenneth Frampton and Coop Himmelb(l)au founder Wolf D Prix have also put their weight behind the campaign. “We must save this type of school by Helmut Richter to show young architecture students a possible way to grow in an architecture of high quality,” said the Technical University of Graz lecturer. According to the Helmut Richter Committee, an organisation set up by Austrian designer Peter Noever, the future of Richter’s “masterpiece” is threatened by a planned conversion that could see part of the glass structure razed. It seeks to protect the legacy of the late Austrian architect by preserving what is thought by many to be his most important building – the Science Secondary School at Kinkplatz in Vienna. “For modern architecture in Austria it is essential that the destruction of this central work by Helmut Richter should be prevented.”
According to architect and supporter Peter Ebner, Richter’s unique skill was an ability to combine Austrian architectural qualities with international influences. News: Zaha Hadid, Steven Holl, Frank Gehry and Bernand Tschumi have pledged support to a campaign to prevent the “barbaric” part-demolition of a school by Austrian Modernist architect Helmut Richter.