Vienna in the Tropics: Alfred Preis Feature on A Palaver Podcast
From David Pesek, host of a palaver architecture podcast (listen now!):
“In the late 1930s life circumstances for Jewish people and other groups in Austria became unbearable. Those who found a way to leave saved their life but had to find their place in a different society. Alfred Preis, a Jew who converted to Christianity, somehow managed to finish his architecture studies at the TU Wien a few months after the Anschluss in 1938 and left with his spouse for an adventurous journey to Hawaii.
“Over the years he was able to generate a combination of local architecture, optimized for the climatic challenges of a tropic island and based on his Viennese education. He is the architect of a large number of projects, including some public and social projects and the well-known USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor. Throughout his career, he focused on supporting art and the preservation of the landscape of Hawaii – after his architectural career he concentrated on these topics also successfully as a politician.
“The guest of this episode is Axel Schmitzberger, who together with August Sarnitz, Laura McGuire, Stephen Phillips, and Christopher Long, condensed intense research in an exhibition and a fantastic book called Alfred Preis -Displaced – The Tropical Modernism of the Austrian Emigrant and Architect of the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor.
“Special thanks to Carrie Paterson for suggesting the theme and the great support!”