Roland Rainer studied at the Vienna University of Technology. He left Austria to attend the German Academy for Urban Design in Berlin. After World War II, he returned to Austria and continued writing, including his most famous work Urban design prose.
He was invited to several universities: the Technical University of Berlin, the Technical University at Brunswick, Technion - Israel Institute of Technology, and the Technical University of Munich. In 1953, Rainer became professor for housing, urban design, and land use planning at the University of Hanover. In 1954, he became professor for structural engineering at the Graz University of Technology, which forced him to commute between Graz and Hanover. From 1954, Rainer led the Master School for Architecture at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna.
From 1956 to 1962, one of his most significant works, the Wiener Stadthalle in Vienna, was built. From 1987, Rainer was chairman of the curia for art of the Austrian Decoration for Science and Art.
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