In memoriam HARRY GLÜCK – an obit

Helga Fassbinder

The renowned Viennese architect, Harry Glück, passed away on 13.12.2016.  He was one of the great pioneers of green architecture within the dense city. We, at Biotope City Journal have published several articles in the past about him and his work. Even at the age of nearly 92 years old he was still a keen architect with a comprehensive view of mankind and society with a tireless commitment to high quality social housing affording a life that is adequate to human nature.

The fact that he had already put out feelers to ‘Biotope City’ many years ago, when the concept of the dense city as nature still appealed to almost no one in the scene of architects and city planners, shows not only his openness, but also more: his capability to think far ahead, even at his advanced age, and to draw conclusions for his main subject.

Harry Glück, with his tireless commitment and his great sense of social responsibility, has left an important piece of work that is more than ever a piece of advice for architects of urban housing. He stood in the tradition of Viennese residential construction, which began in the 1920s with exemplary residential complexes such as the Viennese courtyards. The high-rise residential settlement Alterlaa in Vienna, built in the 1970s, is still a model for the fact that high-rise residential buildings can also lead to a high standard of living, with the result that residents no longer have a desire to move to another and, in fact love to spend weekends and short holidays at home. This social housing complex also proves that is is indeed possible to have a lively, active, positive community feeling among its residents.  Glücks other projects, which are integrated into the skyline of the inner city are still exemplary too, as are the three residential towers of Alterlaa. They all include a swimming pool on the roof.

Up to the present time, Harry Gück had been pushing projects that should give shape to his basic philosophy: this is to create situations in the social housing sector which take account of the basic needs of man for the proximity of green and water. This was the basis of our cooperation. The first project of this cooperation, the Altmannsdorfer Triangle in Vienna, will soon be achieved. The second project, the ‘Biotope City Quartier’, has been put into motion and will begin during in the coming weeks