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SCI-Arc EXHIBITION




01.27.06 - 01.27.06
Raimund Abraham: JingYa Ocean Entertainment Center, Beijing



Raimund Abraham exhibited drawings and models for the JingYa Ocean Entertainment Center in Beijing. For this edifice, to be completed in 2006, the architect devised a new type of curtain-wall that surrounds and veils its interior structure. Raimund Abraham is widely known for his exquisite drawings and models as well as for the innovative nature of his architecture.

On the subject of the project in Beijing, Abraham stated his architectural intent as follows: "Since the designated site in Beijing, only a few blocks from the Forbidden City, had been voided of its urbanistic memory, I was forced to create my own site, my own memory, in order to provide the essential perimeters for the architectural intervention. Recalling the distinctive power of the ocean, a building block, an artificial extension of the earth, 150 ft. long, 90 ft. wide and 150 ft in height, had been partially carved and chiseled into an amorphic landscape, to be finally transformed into a precise geometric structure, detached from the volume of the block."

Kenneth Frampton says of Raimund Abraham's drawings: "The architectural drawing occupies a central position in the evolution of Abraham's work in challenging the predominant notion of built architecture. Abraham's drawings and projects as well as the built realizations reflect the roots of a concise architectural theory." (Kenneth Frampton, Reality and Representation in Contemporary Architecture, 1982).

Raimund Abraham was born in Austria in 1933, and immigrated to the United States in 1964 from Vienna. He was a member of the faculty at the Rhode Island School of Design from 1964-1971. From 1971 to 2002 he had held a tenured professorship at Cooper Union in New York where he lives and works. In addition he has taught at Harvard and Yale, as well as universities in London, Graz, Copenhagen, Strasburg, and Houston. He is presently a visiting professor at SCI-Arc in Los Angeles. His work has been exhibited worldwide, at institutions including the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Museo Correr in Venice, Pinacotek in Athens, Leo Castelli Gallery, and the Venice Biennale. He has won numerous awards and distinctions, including the Stone Lion of the Venice Biennale and the Grand Prize of Architecture of the City of Vienna, 1995, as well as its highest award, the Gold Medal, in 2005. Among his most recently built projects is the celebrated Austrian Cultural Forum in New York.