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Hundertwasserhaus in Vienna – one of Austria’s most important architectural developments

The Hundertwasserhaus residential complex in Vienna is one of Austria’s most important architectural developments. The original work designed by Friedensreich Hundertwasser was built in the 1980s. The house attracts visitors from all over the world with its highly unusual form and innovative approach to multi-family residential architecture.

The unusual Hundertwasserhaus was built in the 3rd district of Vienna between 1983 and 1985. The architectural realisation took place with architect Josef Kravin as co-author and executive architect Peter Pelikan.

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The residential complex has distinctive elements specific to the work of the artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser (1928-2000). A number of solutions have been employed here to escape from straight lines and regularity. Its façade is decorated with a variety of colourful elements and art that give the building an unusual expression that is impossible to pass by indifferently.

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Everyone who lives in the Hundertwasserhaus also has the right to design the facade around the windows of their own flat according to their own taste. The creator’s concept for the project was to establish a dialogue with nature as an equivalent partner of man, which is why more than 200 trees and shrubs grow on the terraces, balconies and in other unusual places, making the Hundertwasserhaus a green oasis in the middle of the city.

Photo by Peter Haas, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Hundertwasserhaus is a tourist attraction in Vienna, but the interiors are not available to visit, as the building is inhabited on a daily basis. It contains 50 flats (ranging in size from 30 to 150 square metres), four restaurants, one medical practice and 16 private and three public terraces. The total usable area of the building, built at a cost of around €6 million, is 3,550 sq m.

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There is a legend that the author did not accept payment for designing the house. It was enough for him that, thanks to his initiative, nothing was built on the corner of Kegelgasse and Löwengasse that the architect would have considered ugly in his opinion. Similar houses have also been built elsewhere. In 1992, the Hundertwasser House was built in Plochingen, and in 1998/1999 another was built in Darmstadt (named Waldspirale). In 2004, construction began on a similar house in Magdeburg (Grüne Zitadelle).


Also read: Architecture | Facade | City | Vienna | Travel

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