COOP HIMMELB(L)AU was founded by Wolf D. Prix, Helmut Swiczinsky, and Michael Holzer in Vienna, Austria, in 1968, and is active in architecture, urban planning, design, and art. In 1988, a second studio was opened in Los Angeles, USA. Further project offices are located in Frankfurt, Germany and Paris, France. COOP HIMMELB(L)AU employs currently between 50 and 150 team members from nineteen nations.
The architectural studio COOP HIMMELB(L)AU is directed by Wolf D. Prix, Harald Krieger, Karolin Schmidbaur, Markus Prossnigg and Project Partners.
After Michael Holzer left the team in 1971, and with the retirement of Helmut Swiczinsky in 2001 from COOP HIMMELB(L)AU’s daily operations and in 2006 from the office, Wolf D. Prix is leading the studio as Design Principal/ CEO. From 2000 until 2011, Wolfdieter Dreibholz was part of COOP HIMMELB(L)AU as CEO and Partner. In 2003 Harald Krieger was designated Partner of COOP HIMMELB(L)AU and is managing director of COOP HIMMELB(L)AU Europe GmbH, Frankfurt/ M., Germany, since 2006, and became CFO of the studio in 2011. Karolin Schmidbaur was made Partner of the office in 1996 and is currently Design and Managing Partner of COOP HIMMELB(L)AU Vienna (since 2009) as well as the Director of the office in Los Angeles, California (since 2003). In 2012 Louise Kiesling was appointed Head of Product Design. Markus Prossnigg became Managing Partner in 2015 and is responsible for the overall management, supervision and delivery of key projects.
COOP HIMMELB(L)AU’s most well-known projects include: the Rooftop Remodeling Falkestraße in Vienna (1988) ; the master plan for the City of Melun-Sénart in France; the Groninger Museum, East Pavilion in Groningen (1994) in the Netherlands; the design for the EXPO.02—Forum Arteplage in Biel, Switzerland (2002); the multifunctional UFA Cinema Center in Dresden, Germany (1998); the Academy of Fine Arts (2005) and the BMW Welt (2007) in Munich, Germany; the Akron Art Museum in Ohio, USA (2007); the Central Los Angeles Area High School #9 of Visual and Performing Arts in Los Angeles, USA (2008); the Pavilion 21 MINI Opera Space in Munich, Germany (2010); the Martin Luther Church in Hainburg, Austria (2011); the Busan Cinema Center in Busan, South Korea (2011); the Dalian International Conference Center in China (2012), the House of Music in Aalborg, Denmark (2014), the Musée des Confluences in Lyon, France (2014), the European Central Bank’s new headquarters in Frankfurt am Main, Germany (2014), the Museum of Contemporary Art & Planning Exhibition (MOCAPE) in Shenzhen, China (2016) and the PANEUM - Wunderkammer des Brotes in Asten, Austria (2017).
COOP HIMMELB(L)AU realized further key projects in Vienna in the past years, including the SEG Apartment Tower (1998), followed by the SEG Apartment Block Remise (2000); the Apartment Building Gasometer B (2001); the Apartment and Office Building Schlachthausgasse (2005); and the Apartment Building ‘Liesing Brewery’ (2011).
Among the recent projects that COOP HIMMELB(L)AU is the Five Star Hotel Tower at the Dawang Mountain Resort, Changsha, China (2017). Additional projects in planning are the Central Bank of Azerbaijan, Baku, Azerbaijan, the 5th World, Russell Means Library, Porcupine, South Dakota, USA, as well as the ATMOS Selfness Resort.
Over the course of the past four decades, COOP HIMMELB(L)AU has received numerous international awards. These include: the Förderungspreis für Baukunst, Berlin (1982), the Award of the City of Vienna for Architecture (1988), the Erich Schelling Architektur Preis (1992), the Progressive Architecture/ P. A. Award (1989, 1990, and 1991), the Großer Österreichischer Staatspreis (1999) as well as the European Steel Design Award (2001). In 2005, for the design of the Akron Art Museum, our studio received the American Architecture Award. Our studio was awarded for the 2007 International Architecture Award for four projects. In 2008 COOP HIMMELB(L)AU received the RIBA International Award for the Akron Art Museum. In the same year the RIBA European Award and the World Architecture Festival Award: Production were given for the project BMW Welt. In 2010, COOP HIMMELB(L)AU won the MIPIM Architectural Review Future Projects Award in the category sustainability for their project Town Town Erdberg. In 2011 the office received the Wallpaper* Design Award 2011 (Category: "Best Building Sites") for the project Dalian International Conference Center, the Dedalo Minosse International Prize for the project BMW Welt as well as the Red dot award: product design (Category: “Architecture”) for the Central Los Angeles Area High School #9 of Visual and Performing Arts. COOP HIMMELB(L)AU's House of Music II received the Danish Annual Building Award (2014) and was awarded by The Committee for Building Awards in Aalborg (2015).