Vienna is a breathtaking city, not least because of its marvellous architecture. During the reign of Empress Maria Theresa (1740-80) and her son Joseph II (1780-90), major architects like Johann Lukas von Hildebrand and Josef Emanuel Fischer von Erlach formed the city face with their magnificent buildings. Majestic Karlskirche was planned and executed by Fischer von Erlach.
The time of the Congress of Vienna (1814-15) and the second half of the 19th century brought another great change in Vienna's architecture. Emperor Franz Joseph I ordered the restructuring of Ring boulevard. Famous Baroque architects like Gottfried Semper and Karl von Hasenauer contributed to turning Vienna into one of the most exciting cities of Europe. They collaborated at the Museum of Fine Arts and semper is responsible for majestic State Opera House.
Art deco and 'Jugendstil'
The turn of the 19th century brought one
of the most fascinating chapters of Austrian art history: art deco
or 'Jugendstil' as it is called in Vienna.
Otto Wagner was one of the major influences and is till today
highly visible in Vienna's city face. The great architect is responsible
for Vienna's tube network. The network was extended till then, but
his influence is still visible in many tube stations. Other achievements
include Majolica house at the
'Naschmarkt' and the spectacular
'Postsparkasse' in the first
district. One of his pupils, Joseph Maria Olbricht, realized
an exciting art deco museum: Secession
building with its cupola of golden laurel leaves.
Adolf Loos established a very rational and minimalistic style of architecture.
Modern architecture in Vienna
But Vienna does not only bewitch with its
traditional buildings. Modern structures, too, adorn the modern
Austrian capital and some of Austria's architects have influenced
international architecture. Friedensreich
Hunderwasser introduced a highly original style with his
aversion against straight lines and his fondness of color. In Vienna
you can admire some of his mastepieces: famous 'Hundertwasserhaus',
'KunstHaus Wien' or the waste
combustion at Spittelau. Hans Hollein's glass and concrete
'Haas House' at the very center
of the first district just opposite of 'St. Stephen' scandalized
a major part of Viennese population.
An Austrian group of architects has impressed the world with their agravic architecture:
Coop Himmelb(l)au have realized a number of buildings in Vienna and all over the world.
Their adaption of one of the four gasometer buildings is spectacular.