John Hejduk Works/Jan Palach Memorial

Wed, Mar 29, 2017 7pm - Sat, Apr 29, 2017 12pm

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Through an exhibition and an installation, The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture proudly celebrates the work of 1950 Cooper Union graduate, architect and Dean Emeritus, John Q. Hejduk.

The exhibition Hélène Binet – John Hejduk Works will present seven of Hejduk’s built works as photographed by Hélène Binet, a renowned London-based photographer who was Hejduk’s photographer of record. Binet’s photographs of both permanent and temporary structures will be presented, including the Berlin Tower, Wall House 2, The Collapse of Time, Security and Object/Subject. The exhibition will also include a chronology of the numerous realizations of Hejduk’s design for the Jan Palach Memorial, which was permanently installed in Prague in 2016. Comprised of two structures – House of the Suicide and House of the Mother of the Suicide – this work honors the Czech activist and dissident Jan Palach, whose self-immolation in protest of the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968 served as a galvanizing force against the communist government then in power.

As a companion to the interior installation, the School of Architecture will install the Jan Palach Memorial on the plaza outside The Cooper Union’s Foundation Building. These structures, first constructed at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta in 1990, represent an architectural manifestation of a powerful socio-political act, the ultimate personal sacrifice at a critical moment in the ongoing global struggle for individual freedom against autocracy and centralized control.

A Fellow of the American Institute of Architects and of the Royal Society of Arts, Hejduk began teaching at The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture in 1964, and became the Head of the Department of Architecture in 1965. In 1975, when the School of Architecture became one of the three autonomous degree-granting divisions of The Cooper Union, he was named Dean and Professor of the School of Architecture. He served as dean until his retirement in 2000. His work has been exhibited in London, Amsterdam, Paris, Athens, Milan, Oslo, Berlin, Montreal, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Chicago, Boston, Helsinki, Zurich, Prague, Rotterdam, Briey-en-Foret and Montreal. Individual structures from his masque projects have been built at the University of the Arts (Philadelphia), The Oslo School of Architecture (Norway), Georgia Institute of Technology (Atlanta), the Architectural Association (London), the Prague Castle and Jan Palach Square (Czech and Slovak Federal Republic), the City of Groningen (Holland), near Madison Square Park (New York City), Slussen Stockholm (Sweden), Buenos Aires (Argentina) and at the Universitat Politécnia de Catalunya (Spain). His interior renovation of The Cooper Union’s Foundation Building is one of his most significant built projects. Numerous publications of his work have been printed in both the United States and internationally.

Binet, who works exclusively with film, is one of the world’s leading architectural photographers, documenting both contemporary – often from construction through completion – and historic architecture. In addition to Hejduk, she has photographed works by architects such as Alvar Aalto, Raoul Bunschoten, Daniel Libeskind, Peter Zumthor, Zaha Hadid, Le Corbusier, Sverre Fehn, Andrea Palladio, and many others. Her work has been published in a wide range of books, and shown in both national and international exhibitions, including the Venice Biennale.

Hélène Binet – John Hejduk Works

March 29 – April 29 2017

Arthur A. Houghton Jr. Gallery

John Hejduk – Jan Palach Memorial

March 29 – June 11 2017

Foundation Building Exterior

Opening Reception

Wednesday, March 29, 7:00pm

Gallery Hours: Tuesday – Friday 2pm-7pm, Saturday and Sunday 12pm-7pm

Closed Sunday, April 16

Arthur A. Houghton Jr. Gallery

The Cooper Union 7 East 7th Street 2nd Floor New York NY 10003

In conjunction with the exhibition, a screening of the film The Burning Bush, by director Agnieszka Holland, will take place in Cooper Union’s Rose Auditorium on Sunday, April 2.

The Jan Palach Memorial installation is presented in conjunction with the New York City Department of Transportation’s Art Program.


Located in the Arthur A. Houghton Jr. Gallery, 7 East 7th Street, 2nd Floor, between Third and Fourth Avenues

  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.