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Project timeline

1983 – 1985

Type

Residential

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Kegelgasse 36-38,
1030 Vienna
Austria

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Gemeinde Wien

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Article last edited by archibald on
May 07th, 2020

Hundertwasserhaus Change this

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

Friedensreich Hundertwasser started out as a painter. Since the early 1950s, however, he increasingly became focused on architecture, writing and reading in public, advocating natural forms of decay. In 1972, he had his first architectural models made for the TV-show ‘Wünsch dir was', in order to demonstrate his ideas on forested roofs, "tree tenants" and the "window right" of every tenant to embellish the facade around his windows. In these models Hundertwasser also developed new architectural shapes, such as the "eye-slit" house and the "high-rise meadow house".

In lectures at academies and before architectural associations, Hundertwasser elucidated his concerns regarding an architecture in harmony with nature and man. Bruno Kreisky, the federal chancellor at the time, suggested in a letter dated November 30, 1977 to Leopold Gratz, the mayor of Vienna, that Hundertwasser be given the opportunity to realize his ideas in the field of architecture by allowing him to build a housing project,[3] whereupon Leopold Gratz, in a letter of December 15, 1977, invited Hundertwasser to create an apartment building according to his own ideas.

To this end, architect Josef Krawina was invited to join the artist and to help him to put his ideas into practice.

Hundertwasser envisioned a “House for Human Beings and Trees,“ as described years earlier in his text “Forestation of the City.“ As his model of the “Terrace House” for Eurovision showed, he had already conceptualized this house.

The house was built between 1983 and 1985 according to the ideas and concepts of Hundertwasser with architect Univ.-Prof. Joseph Krawina as a co-author and architect Peter Pelikan as a planner. It features undulating floors, a roof covered with earth and grass, and large trees growing from inside the rooms, with limbs extending from windows.

Within the house there are 53 apartments, four offices, 16 private terraces and three communal terraces, and a total of 250 trees and bushes. The house consists of a brick construction. The flats have various ground plans. There are one-storey and two-storey flats. Many apartments have protruding balconies or pergolas and loggias. 900 tons of soil were used for the afforestation of 14 large and as many small green spaces and tree-tenant tubs. A number of the terraces are publicly accessible, others are designated to the flats, and some are reserved for spontaneous vegetation. The grass and forest areas of the house amount to more than 100 per cent of the ground plan. What was taken away from nature by the construction of the building was restored on the roofs. The living, uneven floor in the public areas of the buildings amounts to a rediscovery of human dignity, which was taken from people in an urban development of flat surfaces. The mosaics on the walls, in the stairways and in the corridors were created by the workers along with the tiles in the kitchens and in the bathrooms, which were laid irregularly to avoid the grid system. It is the first house where the window right is granted to the tenant as a part of the lease agreement. With this house Hundertwasser proved that a more human architecture in harmony with nature is possible within the regular construction time, within the financial budget of a public project, and within the current building laws without any special permits.

The manifestos of Hundertwasser live on in this house for people and trees, making it the most visited building and a cultural heritage of the city of Vienna.

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