House for People and Trees :Hundertwasser House in Vienna (Wien)

Horizontal surfaces belong to nature

If you´re not familiar in Europe, you wouldn´t even know that Vienna is called “Wien“.Before I didn´t know it as well. I never knew Deutschland as a name, I only know Germany.I kept on sharing to my family back at home about Wien and they quite don´t understand. When I said it is “Vienna“, then they finally understand.All road signs says Wien and not Vienna, and the “W” is pronounced as “V” in English.That´s the great thing about traveling–it is a way of learning.

Anyway, as part of my Art walk in Vienna, I explored another artistic sight, the Hundertwasser Village in Vienna. A beautiful house where people and trees lived together.A house where imagination meets the art, and function goes in harmony with nature. A place I can described as an explotion of self expression, freedom and green sustainability.

The street where the magic begins..

Hundertwasser is another artist that I love, and here in Austria, his name is known by everyone.But this time, let me share to you something about this architectural wonder. Remember how I brag about Dutch architects and how pretty the buildings in Zaandam? In Vienna, they have the Hundertwasser Village, and a house to boast too!This is a building or a house complex designed by Friedensreich Hundertwasser. He´s an Architect who also designed the Kunst Haus in Abensberg or the Kuchlbauer which I have previously visited in Bavaria.

I love the splash of colors and this place says it all. A colorful building which draws millions of visitors from around the world.It is private complex so this place can only be viewed from outside.

Colorful and unsusual Hundertwasser House

But look at how unique and unusual this place is. The motif and design is quite familiar as it is the forte of Hundertwasser and quite similar to Anton Gaudi. His love for colors and curve lines is really fascinating, making his work carved out from a fantasy world. He avoids shard edges and contours are chiselled out. There is not a single straight line in his buildings.This building was constructed between 1983 and 1985. It was architecturally realized with the collaboration of architect Josef Krawina as co-creator and the planner Peter Pelikan.

Art and sustainability goes together

The art of the visionary Viennese, who, thanks to his ideas on the environment and sustainability is also considered to be one of the first green pioneers in Europe, is appreciated and exhibited worldwide. Since 2022, there has also been a second Hundertwasser museum: The Hundertwasser Art Centre with Wairau Maori Art Gallery in his adopted country, New Zealand.Seeing Vienna with all of its grand palaces and buildings then all of a sudden, seeing this unique but bold colorful house appeared really made an impression to us!

Wien is not only about big and grand buildings and palaces.It has many green oasis like this.We took the U-Bahn from Siebenhirten station and we passed through Alt Erlaa where these mega- apartment buildings where the lower floors has terraced gardens. Every window is full of plants and it looks really cool.

 Anyone who lives in the Hundertwasser House also has the right to decorate the façade around the windows entirely to their own taste. As I saw, trees and shrubs on the balconies and roof terraces make the Hundertwasserhaus a green oasis in the heart of the city.It looked so charming and beautiful. The designer and architect ,Hundertwasser even said that this house is his soul.Inside as well, the floors are crooked and there are all uneven lines and sloping surfaces.

On the back side of the building stands the Hundertwasser Village which is also another wonder. It has a shop,an exhibition hall of the artist, a bar and cafe, a souvenir shop and a square where people meet together under the shade of the trees.There´s a nice fountain outside and people sit around cozily.On top of its floor grows more than 30 trees, as high as 15 meters, which serves as the natural habitat of animals in Vienna and making the city more sustainable.

Drawing and doodling in the fountain of Hundertwasser House

I have written about houses full of climbers and I wonder how the residents are managing the roots and wild growth of the trees and shrubs on the facades and rooftop? Will the roots eventually damaged the building through time or what? I´ve read that the residents in this building have the Window Right, meaning they have the legal right to design and choose the color which they like for their respective space.

It is an unusual house. For it is meant to be an oasis of humanity and nature in the sea of rational buildings, the realisation of the longing of people for romanticism.

The front facade of the building complex

Hundertwasser is influenced by the by works of Egon Schiele, which he saw for the first time in 1948 in an exhibition at the Albertina in Vienna. Hundertwasser was also inspired by Gustav Klimt and Anton Gaudí as well as by the Austrian tradition of Art Nouveau.

This building has 53 apartments, 16 private terraces and three communal terraces.Each apartment is unique , and no apartment have the same doors and window styles.I wonder how it is to lived in this famous building…!Were they bothered by tourists or what…?

Even the souvenirs are super colorful!

Around 900 tons of soil were used for the planting of the trees so it is really like having a botanical forest in the top floor! A number of the terraces are publicly accessible, others are designated to the apartments. 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, more like giving it back to nature again.The overall concept and plan for this building is so unique that this house become the most visited house in Vienna.

Hundertwasser is a rebel when it comes to architecture, like deviating from what is the norm.He adheres to the principle of individualism and creative expression.

Furthermore, He always wear two different socks and when asked about it, he only answers ,

Why do you wear the same socks?

Here´s list of his other works..the more that I marvel on his designs, the more that I want to see more of his creations.

If I have the chance, I would love to see more of his works in different places. Watching his films in the documentary made me appreciate his style and approach to life more. He has a legacy while he lived and he advocates something worthy.

Until then, Tschüss!

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