Herbert Eichholzer Award 2019

© IGL, TU Graz

This award, named after the Graz architect Herbert Eichholzer (1903 – 1943), is awarded to talented architecture students every two years. The award is announced by the Faculty of Architecture. The Department of Cultural Affairs of the City of Graz then proposes the prize in recognition of the importance of Herbert Eicholzer, and the final awarding decision is made by the city senate.

The award is intended both to symbolize the connection between the city of Graz and Graz University of Technology with Herbert Eichholzer and to support the continuation of conscientious interaction with the trends of the time, as exemplified by the architect. The award also stands as a permanent reminder of Eichholzer’s architectural work.


Herbert Eicholzer repeatedly tried to “change the coordination of the possible” by way of political resistance and architectural visions.His restless spirit did not stop even with his own projects: shortly after its completion in 1933, Herbert Eicholzer redesigned the Opera Garage - designed by himself and Rudolf Nowotny - with an architectural project that was, by Graz standards, utopian. This project was not realized. The Opera Garage can still be found almost unaltered today in the courtyard of a Wilhelminian block in the Schögelgasse, between Kaiser-Josef-Platz and Dietrichsteinplatz. This building thus offers the starting point for the task of this year’s Herbert Eicholzer Architecture Award.

The topic of the student competition is the design of a “Treibhaus”, or greenhouse: a community building for the residents of the city of Graz that, in reference to the nearby Kaiser-Josef-Markt, is dedicated to the theme of “food.” The existing hall should be transformed into a glass greenhouse and the residential building on the street replaced by a new building for public community use.

Due to their role in conserving resources and their narrative quality, transformations are both a necessity and an opportunity for contemporary architecture. Current social change has meanwhile brought the question of “community” back into public focus. Eating - not only as a daily necessity but also as a creative field of interest - plays a strong connecting role in a community. Architecture can help express this function by establishing a community center as an open platform for society, and one that as an ambiguous entity attracts and serves people with conflicting wishes and ideas.

1 Slavoj Žižek on utopias from Die politische Suspension des Ethischen, Frankfurt am Main 2005.


May 15, 2019 at 7pm HSII, Rechbauerstraße 12/KG, TU Graz

until July 5, 2019 at 12pm by email to gam.labnoSpam@tugraz.at

by August 2, 2019 at 12pm in the office of the Institute of Design and Building Typology, Lessingstraße 25/IV, TU Graz

November 20, 2019 in HDA, Mariahilferstraße 2, 8020 Graz

Organisation and Realisation

IGL | Institute of Design and Building Typology
DI Tobias Gruber
Lessingstrasse 25/IV
8010 Graz
Tel: +43 (316) 873-6296

sponsored by the Herbert Eichholzer - Architecture Award from the City of Graz