Hundertwasserhaus in Vienna, Austria

Hundertwasserhaus, Vienna

Hundertwasserhaus, Vienna

The Hundertwasserhaus is an apartment house in Vienna, Austria, built after the idea and concept of Austrian artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser with architect Joseph Krawina.

This is an expressionist landmark of Vienna and a must-see. 

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History

Hundertwasser was a painter who developed an interest for architecture.

He expressed his concerns regarding an architecture in harmony with nature and man. In 1977 the federal chancellor at the time, Bruno Kreisky, suggested to the mayor of Vienna, Leopold Gratz that Hundertwasser be given the opportunity to realize his ideas in the field of architecture by allowing him to build a housing project. Consequently, the mayor invited Hundertwasser to create an apartment building according to his own ideas.

Because Hundertwasser was not an architect he asked the City of Vienna to provide a professional architect willing to tranform his concepts into architectural drawings. So, architect Josef Krawina was invited to join the artist and to help him to put his ideas into practice.

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His Art

Hundertwasser’s common themes in his work consisted of bright colours, organic forms, a reconciliation of humans with nature, and a strong individualism, rejecting straight lines.

He was fascinated by spirals, and called straight lines “godless and immoral” and “something cowardly drawn with a rule, without thought or feeling”. He called his theory of art “transautomatism”, focusing on the experience of the viewer rather than the artist.

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The Birth of Hundertwasserhaus

There was some conflict and lack of cooperation towards the creation of Hundertwasserhaus but in the end the house was built between 1983 and 1985.

It features undulating floors (“an uneven floor is a divine melody to the feet”), a roof covered with earth and grass, and large trees growing from inside the rooms, with limbs extending from windows. Hundertwasser took no payment for the design of the house, declaring that it was worth it, to prevent something ugly from going up in its place.

Within the house there are 52 apartments, four offices, 16 private terraces and three communal terraces, and a total of 250 trees and bushes.

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The bar

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The restroom inside.

The restroom inside.

The Hundertwasser House is one of Vienna’s most visited buildings and has become part of Austria’s cultural heritage.

But this was not the only building designed by this artist. His work can also be found Germany, Switzerland, New Zealand, Japan, the Netherlands and the USA.

Hunderwasser Fernheizwerk, District Heating Plant, Spittelau, Vienna, Austria image source

Hundertwasserhaus Waldspirale, Residential building, Darmstadt, Germany image source

Quixote Winery in the Stags Leap District of Napa Valley, California image source

Hundertwasser “environmental railway station”, Uelzen (Germany) image source

Would you live in the Hundertwasser Vienna or Germany apartments?

See related: The European City of Architecture, Music and Art: Vienna, Austria

10 Comments

  1. We first discovered & visited Hundertwasserhaus about fifteen years ago. We were in Vienna in December to visit the fantastic Christmas markets and decided to swing by thinking we could get a few great photos to put on Instagram.

    We were rather disappointed to see that the building looks really dull and faded – it looks like it hasn’t been painted anytime since our last visit. When we first visited it was really colourful, bold & beautiful, so hope it gets a fresh coat of paint soon.

    Reply

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