Essays on Architecture and City Planning

Essays on Architecture and City Planning

“Architecture is not life. Architecture is background. Everything else is not architecture.”—Hermann Czech, 1971




Hermann Czech. Foreword by Eve Blau. Edited, translated from German, and with an introduction by Elise Feiersinger

1st edition

, 2019

Text in English


252 pages, 17 color and 68 b/w illustrations

16 x 24 cm

ISBN 978-3-03860-020-6


Very few architects are equally prolific in theory and design, and Hermann Czech is one of those few. Over the course of six decades, he has created a widely recognized body of built work while also developing a unique architectural theory based on his knowledge of philosophy and architectural history.

Essays on Architecture and City Planning finally makes his influential ideas available to an English-language audience. In these essays, collected from throughout Czech’s career, he analyzes mannerisms and calls attention to underestimated works of architecture. He also delves into his own ambivalent relationship to modernism. Of particular significance are the essays focused on Czech’s appeal to embrace reason over style. In addition, Czech reveals his engagement with the work of Hegel, Kant, Wittgenstein, and Adorno as applied to architectural topics. Throughout, Czech showcases his commitment to developing precise terminology to advance architectural dialogues while rooting these dialogues in the larger history of ideas.

Autoren & Herausgeber

Eve Blau

 is a professor at Harvard Graduate School of Design. She has previously been Curator of Exhibitions and Publications at the Canadian Centre of Architecture CCA in Montreal.

Hermann Czech

, born 1936, lives and works as an architect and architectural publicist and critic in Vienna. He has taught as a visiting professor at University of Applied Arts Vienna, (1985–86), Harvard Graduate School of Design (1988–89 and 1993–94), ETH Zurich (2004–07), and Technische Universität Wien (2008–09), and has published widely.

Elise Feiersinger

, born 1967, graduated in architecture from Rice University in Houston, TX, and University of Applied Arts Vienna. She lives and works as an architect, critic, and translator in Vienna.


«Occasionally dry, always brutally honest and occasionally even funny, the clarity of thought shines through.» Edwin Heathcote, Financial Times Summer Books 2019