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As a companion to the interior installation Hélène Binet – John Hejduk Works, 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.
The Jan Palach Memorial installation is presented in conjunction with the New York City Department of Transportation’s Art Program.