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Raimund Abraham, Austrian-born architect, dies

LOS ANGELES - Raimund Abraham, an Austrian-born architect known for his powerfully enigmatic drawings and fierce idealism, and whose narrow, blade-like 2002 Austrian Cultural Forum in New York is among the most forceful pieces of architecture built anywhere in the last decade, was killed early Thursday when the car he was driving collided in downtown Los Angeles with a Metropolitan Transportation Authority bus. He was 76.

The accident came just hours after Abraham delivered a lecture Wednesday at the Southern California Institute of Architecture, where he taught periodically since 2003.

Abraham, based for most of his career in New York, was well known within the profession as a theorist and a teacher.

At a Friday gathering at SCI-Arc's Arts District campus, he was remembered for his refusal to bend designs to meet client demands, architectural fashion or popular taste. "Raimund was pure," architect and former SCI-Arc director Michael Rotondi.

Abraham's other recent projects include a music hall in Hombroich, Germany, that is under construction.

Una Abraham, his daughter and only surviving relative, said work would continue. "We're going to make sure it gets finished," she said.

- Los Angeles Times


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