Friedrich Achleitner

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Friedrich Achleitner
FriedrichAchleitner80.AzW.MQ.C (square crop).jpg
Achleitner in 2010
Born(1930-05-23)23 May 1930
Died27 March 2019(2019-03-27) (aged 88)
Vienna, Austria
EducationAcademy of Fine Arts Vienna
  • Poet
  • Architecture critic
  • Academic teacher
AwardsSchelling Architecture Theory Prize

Friedrich Achleitner (23 May 1930 – 27 March 2019)[1] was an Austrian poet and architecture critic. As a member of the Wiener Gruppe, he wrote concrete poems and experimental literature. His magnum opus is a multi-volume documentation of 20th-century Austrian architecture. Written over several decades, Achleitner made a personal visit to each building described. He was a professor of the history and theory of architecture at the University of Applied Arts Vienna.

Life and career[edit]

Achleitner was born in Schalchen, Upper Austria, the son of a farmer.[1][2] He attended the Höhere Bundesgewerbeschule in Salzburg,[3] and then studied architecture at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna from 1950 to 1953 with Clemens Holzmeister.[4][5] He supervised architectural projects until 1958,[4] such as the restoration of the Rosenkranzkirche in Vienna.[1]

In 1955, Achleitner joined the Wiener Gruppe, which had at its center H. C. Artmann, Konrad Bayer, Gerhard Rühm and Oswald Wiener [de], henceforth participated in its literary cabarets, and wrote poems in dialect, montages, and concrete poems.[1] His experimental quadratroman was published in 1973.[5]

He began to work as an architecture critic for Austrian daily papers, from 1961 anonymously for the Abendzeitung,[3] then especially from 1962 to 1972 for Die Presse.[1][6] He established a new quality of thinking about architecture.[4] From 1961, he lectured at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna about the history of building construction.[4] In 1983, he was appointed professor of the history and theory of architecture at the University of Applied Arts Vienna,[1] a post he held until 1998.[7]

He began his magnum opus, Österreichische Architektur im 20. Jahrhundert, a guide to Austrian architecture in the 20th century in several volumes, in 1965. The first volume appeared in 1980 and the fifth shortly after his 80th birthday.[6][8] A sequel about Lower Austria remained unwritten.[6] He visited each building personally and documented it.[1][9] The archive is held by the Architekturzentrum Wien.[1][9] The book is known as Der Achleitner among professionals.[8]

Among his many awards,[3] Achleitner received the Schelling Architecture Theory Prize for 2008.[10]


Achleitner died in Vienna on 27 March 2019 at the age of 88.[1][8] He was cremated at Feuerhalle Simmering.[11]


His works include:[3]

  • prosa, konstellationen, montagen, dialektgedichte, studien (1970)
  • quadratroman (1973)[8]
  • Österreichische Architektur im 20. Jahrhundert (from 1880)[8]
  • Nieder mit Fischer von Erlach (1986)
  • KAAAS. Dialektgedichte (1991)
  • Die Plotteggs kommen. Ein Bericht (1995)
  • einschlafgeschichten (2003)[7]
  • wiener linien (2004)
  • und oder oder und (2006)[7]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Koneffke, Jan (27 March 2019). "Eigensinnig, bodenständig, skeptisch – der Schriftsteller und Architekturkritiker Friedrich Achleitner ist gestorben". Neue Zürcher Zeitung (in German). Retrieved 27 March 2019.
  2. ^ Furness, Raymond and Malcolm Humble; Rumble, Malcolm (1991). A Companion to Twentieth Century German Literature. Routledge. ISBN 0-415-01987-7.
  3. ^ a b c d "Achleitner, Friedrich". TU Graz (in German). Retrieved 27 March 2019.
  4. ^ a b c d "Friedrich Achleitner / Architekt und Autor". (in German). Retrieved 27 March 2019.
  5. ^ a b Kralicek, Wolfgang (27 March 2019). "Nachruf / Friedrich Achleitner tot". Süddeutsche Zeitung (in German). Retrieved 27 March 2019.
  6. ^ a b c Freitag, Wolfgang (27 March 2019). "Der Dichter, der für die Architektur lebte". Die Presse (in German). Retrieved 27 March 2019.
  7. ^ a b c "Friedrich Achleitner". Hanser (in German). Retrieved 27 March 2019.
  8. ^ a b c d e "Autor und Architekturkritiker / Friedrich Achleitner ist tot" (in German). ORF. 27 March 2019. Retrieved 27 March 2019.
  9. ^ a b "Friedrich Achleitner Archive". Architekturzentrum Wien. Retrieved 27 March 2019.
  10. ^ "Preisträger / Verleihung des Erich Schelling-Architekturpreises 2008 am 14. November 2008, Karlsruhe" (in German). Deutsche BauZeitschrift. 22 January 2008. Retrieved 27 March 2019.
  11. ^ "Friedrich Achleitner Archive".

External links[edit]