Friedrich Achleitner Archive

In the beginning was the card index box...

Portrait photo Friedrich Achleitner

Friedrich Achleitner
© photograph: Lukas Beck

The Friedrich Achleitner Archive is a unique documentation source for the legacy of 20th century architecture in Austria.

“An important point is only to talk about things that one has seen. On site. And that one knows. And that one photographs.” (Friedrich Achleitner)

In the 1960s Friedrich Achleitner started to survey Austria systematically. The five-volume work “Österreichische Architektur im 20. Jahrhundert”, which covers all of Austria’s federal states with the exception of Lower Austria, combines his research work in a striking and concise way. Friedrich Achleitner’s extensive archive bears witness to his research work and site visits, which extended over a period of decades. In 1999 it was acquired by the City of Vienna and transferred to the Architekturzentrum Wien. As well as including sizable amounts of secondary material the archive derives its strength from Friedrich Achleitner’s view of the built environment. Innumerable photographs and slides made during site visits are today visual witnesses to buildings that either no longer exist at all or only in a much altered form.

The archive comprises

  • 22,340 index cards about the buildings
  • 2,690 index cards about the architects
  • 66,500 photograph negatives
  • 37,800 slides
  • 13,800 photo prints
  • 570 plan drawings
  • 250 inspection plans
  • 1,030 books, brochures, catalogues, magazines (at present complete years of the following magazines: Profil, Der Bau, Der Aufbau, Perspektiven, Bauforum and others)
  • Topographically organised material boxes
Index card drawer
Index card drawer Friedrich Achleitner Archive
© Architekturzentrum Wien, Collection, Margherita Spiluttini
Photo of an index card
Index card, Friedrich Achleitner Archive
© Architekturzentrum Wien, Collection
Photo of the Intercontinental Hotel Vienna
Carl Appel, Walter Jaksch, Holabird & Root, Intercontinental Hotel Vienna, 1030 Vienna, Johannesgasse 28, 1960–1964
© Architekturzentrum Wien, Collection, Friedrich Achleitner

Friedrich Achleitner: Biography

Born on 23.05.1930 in Schalchen, Upper Austria
Died on 27.03.2019 in Vienna
Lived and worked as freelance writer in Vienna

  • 1950–1953 studied architecture and took his degree in the master class of Clemens Holzmeister at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna
  • 1953–1955 master class of Emil Pirchan, stage design
  • 1953–1958 self-employed architect, collaboration with Johann Georg Gsteu
  • 1958 Achleitner ceases working as an architect and becomes a freelance writer. As a member of the legendary “wiener gruppe” (Konrad Bayer, Gerhard Rühm, Oswald Wiener) he writes poems in dialect and concrete poetry and takes part in productions of the “literarisches cabaret”.
  • 1961 architecture critic of the “Abendzeitung”
  • 1962–1972 architecture critic of the daily newspaper “Die Presse”
  • 1963–1983 lecturer in “history of building construction” at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna
  • 1983–1998 head of the chair of “history and theory of architecture” at the University of Applied Arts Vienna
  • 1998 made professor emeritus
  • 1965–2010 Friedrich Achleitner writes his „Architekturführer zur Österreichischen Architektur im 20. Jahrhundert“ (Guide to Austrian Architecture in the 20th Century)



  • 1957 Theodor Körner Prize
  • 1983 Camillo Sitte Prize
  • 1984 Austrian State Prize for Culture Journalism
  • 1990 Prize of the City of Vienna for Journalism
  • 1995 Culture Prize of the State of Upper Austria for Architecture
  • 1995 Gold Medal of Honour of the Federal Capital Vienna
  • 1999 Prize of the Architecture Museum Basel
  • 2002 Gold Order of Merit, State of Vienna
  • 2004 Mauriz Balzarek Prize
  • 2006 Montfortorden in Gold
  • 2007 Prize of the City of Vienna for Literature
  • 2008 Schelling-Prize for Architecture Theory
  • 2008 Heinrich-Gleißner Prize
  • 2011 Paul-Watzlawick Ring of Honour
  • 2014 Awarded the Austrian Cross of Honour for Science and Arts, 1st Class



Architecture guide:

  • Österreichische Architektur im 20. Jahrhundert. Ein Führer in drei [ab Band III/1: vier] Bänden, eds. Museum moderner Kunst Wien and Architekturzentrum Wien (vol. III/3), Residenz Verlag Salzburg
  • Volume I: Oberösterreich, Salzburg, Tirol, Vorarlberg; 1980; ISBN 3-7017-0248-9
  • Volume II. Kärnten, Steiermark, Burgenland; 1983; ISBN 3-7017-0322-1
  • Volume III/1: Wien, 1.–12. Bezirk; 1990; ISBN 3-7017-0635-2
  • Volume III/2: Wien, 13.–18. Bezirk; 1995; ISBN 3-7017-0704-9
  • Volume III/3: Wien, 19.–23. Bezirk; 2010; ISBN 978-3-7017-3209-8

Bibliography (selection):

  • 1959 hosn rosn baa, dialect poems with H.C.Artmann and Gerhard Rühm, Vienna
  • 1960 schwer schwarz, konkrete poesie, eugen gomringer press, Frauenfeld
  • 1967 die wiener gruppe, ed. Gerhard Rühm, with H.C. Artmann, Konrad Bayer, Gerhard Rühm, Oswald Wiener, Hamburg
  • 1968 Lois Welzenbacher, monograph, with Ottokar Uhl, Salzburg
  • 1970 prosa, konstellationen, montagen, dialektgedichte, studien, Hamburg
  • 1973 quadratroman, Darmstadt
  • 1975 WOHNEN ETCETERA, Munich
  • 1977 Die WARE Landschaft, (ed.), Salzburg
  • 1980 friedrich achleitner + gerhard rühm. super rekord 50+50, Linz
  • 1986 Nieder mit Fischer von Erlach, (architecture criticism), Salzburg
  • 1987 Aufforderung zum Vertrauen, (architcture criticism), Salzburg
  • 1991 KAAS (dialect poems), Salzburg
  • 1994 Die rückwärtsgewandte Utopie: Motor des Fortschritts in der Wiener Architektur, Vienna
  • 1995 Die Plotteggs kommen, Vienna
  • 1996 Wiener Architektur, Vienna
  • 1997 Region, ein Konstrukt? Regionalismus, eine Pleite?, Basel
  • 2003 einschlafgeschichten, Vienna
  • 2004 wiener Iinien, (collection of prose), Vienna
  • 2006 und oder oder und, Vienna
  • 2007 quadratroman
  • 2009 der springende punkt
  • 2011 iwahaubbd. Dialektgedichte
  • 2013 Den Toten eine Blume. Die Denkmäler von Bogdan Bogdanović