For me, Friedensreich Hundertwasser is one of the artists who never fails to impress with his choice of shapes and colours. It goes without saying that I had to see the Hundertwasser House on our trip to Vienna.
About Friedensreich Hundertwasser
Friedrich Stowasser, better known as Friedensreich Regentag Dunkelbunt Hundertwasser, was born in 1928 in Vienna.
The artist mainly engaged in painting but was also known as an architect and environmentalist. Until his death in 2000 aboard Queen Elizabeth 2, Hundertwasser designed numerous imaginative and very individual works. He did not only paint pictures, he designed stamps, a poster for the XX. Olympic summer games, worked on rooftop gardens, solar collectors and water wheels and also designed houses.
The Hundertwasser House in Vienna was commissioned in 1977 on the initiative of the then Federal Chancellor Kreisky and the Mayor of Vienna, Gratz.
It turned out not to be an easy endeavour. Finding a suitable location in Vienna alone took several years. In addition, an architect was needed. Hundertwasser did the drawings, but his plans had to be implemented by a specialist. The co-operation with the architect Josef Krawina was prone to conflicts.
In 1979, Hundertwasser succeeded in obtaining exceptions to the building regulations in operation in Vienna, and finally nothing was in the way of his green split level building. Nevertheless, the cooperation with Krawina ended, the two did not get along. (According to a court sentence, Krawina has to be mentioned as co-creator of the building, which I hereby expressly do.)
Together with architect Peter Pelikan, Hundertwasser finally succeeded in realizing his plans.
The Hundertwasser House in Vienna was finished in 1986.
Our visit to the Hundertwasser House in Vienna
Our way to the Hundertwasser House led us through many small streets. We were once again on foot and had underestimated the distance. But this has never stopped us so far, this is how we discover a city.
When we came to the street corner where the house should be, we had to look closely.
There were quite a few visitors, but the house was far harder to spot. Countless trees and shrubs planned and planted by Hundertwasser blocked the view of the house.
Only at a second glance, one can see the curved shapes, the coloured façade and some of the patios. What might be a disadvantage for tourists is a huge advantage for the residents of the house. No one likes to be looked at constantly.
There are 52 apartments in the house, 4 shops, 16 private rooftop terraces and 3 communal rooftop terraces. In front of the house an artificially laid out, wavy pavement leads to a small fountain that invites visitors to sit down and relax.
You can also walk through to the backyard and have a look, but you should not forget that this is where actual families life who want their privacy. This is why there are no guided tours through the house. If you would like to know what the house looks like, you can watch a video on it in the coffee house "Kunst und Café" on the ground floor of the Hundertwasser House. Friedensreich Hundertwasser himself leads the viewer through his house.
I liked our visit to the Hundertwasser House in Vienna. The architecture, the colourful design and the curved lines break up the straight lines of the streets. I think it creates a much friendlier, homely atmosphere.
Opposite the house is the Hundertwasser Village. The former tire workshop now serves as a starting point for a tour through shops and galleries, in which many tourists buy their souvenirs. Admission is free.
Not far from the Hundertwasser House is the Kunsthaus Wien – The Art House Vienna. This house was redesigned by Hundertwasser and opened in 1991. The former wooden furniture factory was unrecognisable afterwards.
The exhibition area is unique. There are hardly any straight lines, you walk across wavy ground. Glass, metal, brick, wood and ceramic tiles in a wide variety of colours create a completely new look.
The exhibition presents a compendium of Hundertwasser’s work. Prints, architectural designs and testimonies of his ecological commitment are on display.
The second floor holds the Hundertwasser exhibition and other changing exhibitions.
On the ground floor is a bistro next to the museum shop. We sat there for a while, enjoyed our coffee and took the time to peacefully take in the interior design.
Untere Weißgerberstraße 13 ,
adults: € 11,-
children -10 years free
children 11-18 years: € 5,-