Olivia Schimek-Hickisch

Olivia Schimek-Hickisch

Practice: schimek ZT gmbh architecture + engineering
Established: 2001
City: Linz
Country: Austria
www.arch-schimek.at
office@arch-schimek.at

Olivia Schimek-Hickisch studied architecture at the Technische Universität Wien and Montréal University, with numerous study-trips. Until 2000 she was involved in long-term co-operation with her father's architectural office and working with RichardHo Architects in Singapore. In 2001 she established schimek ZT gmbh architecture & engineering, based in Linz where she has been principal architect and CEO since 2004. Its projects cover a wide range.
Apart from professional activities, she is intensely committed to professional organisations: she is on the board of the regional chamber of architects and engineers, president of the ÖIAV, founder of ZIMT (regional female architects committee), a trainer for WIFI international, thesis supervisor and juror in architectural competitions.
She is also a long-term participant at seminars and congresses focusing on urban planning, energy-efficient and ecological building, preservation of monuments and historic buildings. She has published and lectured at national and international professional conventions on eco-architecture and bioclimatic building, especially on the innovative integration of technology and renewables.

schimek ZT gmbh architecture + engineering

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Kindergarten solarCity, Linz

This sustainable and didactic project, built in 2005, uses a natural material - timber - for both construction and furniture. It uses renewable energy with solar collectors, water collectors and a photovoltaic system, and water and gravel as energy storage.

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Do you think our profession is diverse enough? Yes, definitely. And that is my favourite aspect of architecture. It touches so many different fields from art and creativity to technical engineering. Every day I can discover something completely new, immerse myself in it and involve it in my work. I am lucky because my office is doing so many different kinds of projects in all the fields of our discipline, so I can really enjoy this diversity in my everyday work.
What do you find most rewarding in your area of work? The positive feedback of clients or users. Being an architect, all I want to achieve is the creation of enjoyable spaces for people to live and work in. With this as my basic motivation and principal approac, this goal guides all my decisions during the planning and building process. People shall feel at ease and comfortable in my buildings and enjoy the materials and colours surrounding them.
How have your clients and projects benefited from your involvement? We mostly act as general planners and therefore provide the highest-quality work in every area of expertise. This means we can really optimise the economic and ecological aspects of a project through every stage and increase design quality. Furthermore I have firm convictions about energy efficiency and innovation, which we try to implement according to each project`s individual approach. Clients deal with us as one competent partner who pushes the project towards success.