Alban Berg Sculpture

Architect description: In front of the Vienna State Opera, one of the most prominent sites of the city, a sculpture is to be built by the Alban Berg Foundation for the composers of the Viennese School – Alban Berg, Arnold Schönberg, Anton Webern – and the composer and Court Opera principal Gustav Mahler.

Due to formal reasons, the sculpture stands on a pedestal which elevates the ensemble of the sculpture. The elegant, shimmering appearance of the object is achieved by a polished metal surface, which not only provides the permanent surface quality but also guarantees easy cleaning and repair.

Courtesy of COOP HIMMELB(L)AU

Courtesy of COOP HIMMELB(L)AU

Alban Berg, who wrote such long-standing masterpieces for the stage such as “Wozzeck” and “Lulu”, is the only opera composer of the 20th century who devoted himself unconditionally to the modern and at the same time has fascinated audiences up to the present day.

Indeed his work is inextricably linked with the names of his fellow campaigners, such as Arnold Schönberg, his teacher, Anton Webern, his colleague and friend, and Gustav Mahler, who created the basis for the Viennese School of New Music with his compositional work and, as Court Opera principal, was a formative figure at the turn of the century. Alban Berg himself created a “small memorial” to the triumvirate of the twelve-tone method, as he set forward a motto for his chamber concerto (1925) which translates the names of Schönberg and Webern, as well as his own, into music. However, number three or its multiples are “secretly hidden”, as Berg himself wrote in an open letter to his teacher.

Courtesy of COOP HIMMELB(L)AU

Courtesy of COOP HIMMELB(L)AU

Inspired by musical scores and sound, Wolf D. Prix and Sophie C. Grell of Coop Himmelb(l)au have designed a sculpture which reacts with elegant loops to the expressive lines of music, and thus creates a monument to the composers of the Viennese School and their mentor.

With the dedication, financing, and realization of the sculpture on the Herbert van Karajan Square in front of the Vienna State Opera, The Alban Berg Foundation has made it possible to represent one of the most important movements of Viennese modern in the public space.

Courtesy of COOP HIMMELB(L)AU

Courtesy of COOP HIMMELB(L)AU

Project info:
Client: Alban Berg Foundation, Vienna, Austria
Planning: COOP HIMMELB(L)AU Wolf D. Prix & Partner ZT GmbH
Design: Wolf D. Prix, Sophie C. Grell
Project Partner: Markus Pillhofer
Project Team: Friedrich Hähle, Jörg Hugo
Model Building: Win Man
Coordination: Werner Baumüller/Werkstatt Kollerschlag
Structural Engineering: B+G Ingenieure, Bollinger und Grohmann GmbH, Vienna, Austria
Lighting Design: ERCO Lighting GmbH Vienna, Austria

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