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#1477 Hundertwasserhaus (Hundertwasser House) - Vienna (Austria)

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The Hundertwasserhaus (Hundertwasser House) is an apartment house in Vienna, Austria, built after the idea and concept of Austrian artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser with architect Josef Krawina as a co-author. This expressionist landmark of Vienna is located in the Landstraße district on the corner of Kegelgasse and Löwengasse. Friedensreich Hundertwasser started out as a painter. Since the early 1950s, however, he increasingly became focused on architecture, writing and reading in public. In 1972, he had his first architectural models made for the TV-show "Wünsch dir was" (Make a wish), in order to demonstrate his ideas on forested roofs, "tree tenants" and the "window right" of every tenant to embellish the façade 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. In a letter dated 30 November 1977 to the mayor of Vienna, Leopold Gratz, the federal chancellor at the time, Bruno Kreisky, suggested that Hundertwasser be given the opportunity to realize his ideas in the field of architecture by allowing him to build a housing project, whereupon Leopold Gratz, in a letter of 15 December 1977, invited Hundertwasser to create an apartment building according to his own ideas. The search for a suitable building plot took several years. Because Hundertwasser was not an architect he asked the City of Vienna to provide a professional architect willing to transpose his concepts into architectural drawings. To this end, architect Josef Krawina was invited to join the artist and to help him to put his ideas into practice. In the end the house was built between 1983 and 1985 according to the ideas and concepts of Hundertwasser with architect Josef Krawina as a co-author and architect Peter Pelikan as a planner. 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, 4 offices, 16 private terraces and 3 communal terraces, and a total of 250 trees and bushes. The Hundertwasser House is one of Vienna's most visited buildings and has become part of Austria's cultural heritage.

Author
Matthijs van Wageningen
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1712*2288
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