Monday, 24 February 2014

Hundertwasser, Coffee, The Third Man & Vienna

Recently I spent a few days in Vienna.  It's a lovely place and seemed amazingly uncrowded for a capital city (it was February!).  Here are some of my highlights starting with all things Hundertwasser ...


Hundertwasser Haus

Hundertwasser Haus showing some of the original architecture

Hundertwasser Village

KunstHaus Wien - gallery displaying Hundertwasser's art

Window detail at the KunstHaus
Hunderwasser designed Incinerator facade at Spittelau
 
Hundertwasser, originally an artist, thought modern buildings were anonymous, heartless and aggressive.  He sought to counter this with his building designs which are irregular, colourful with uneven floors and the "right of window" - an individual's right to decorate round each window within an arm's reach and include tree tenants - a piece of nature growing out of windows to improve man's environment. Hundertwasser wanted to create "barriers of beauty".  He designed the Hundertwasser Haus with help from architects Krawina & Pelikan. It was handed over to residents in 1986.

The KunstHaus is the only gallery with a permanent collection of Hundertwasser's work and it has a really good cafe! It was formerly the Thonet furniture factory but was remodelled to Hundertwasser's design.

The facade of the incinerator at Spittelau was designed by Hundertwasser.  Information regarding the plant suggests that this has made a major contribution to the reduction of "visual pollution" of the urban environment.  In other words it looks pretty good for an incinerator!

Perhaps we should take a coffee break now...

Perfect cappuccino

Amazing macaroon
All at Cafe Central

Don't be fooled into thinking a Mozart donut will be nice - it won't! (This was not at Cafe Central I hasten to add)

If you haven't seen "The Third Man" (black & white film noir set in post Second World War Vienna starring Orson Wells, Joseph Cotton & Alida Valli, directed by Carol Reed) then you definitely should!  Unfortunately tours of Vienna's sewers don't start till May but we could go on the Ferris Wheel (Riesenrad) in the Prater...

Riesenrad

Harry Lime's view perhaps?

And if you like heights you can also go up the Stephansdom...

Amazingly colourful roof on the Stephansdom!

Even the steps at the Albertina are covered in art (which I think they change from time to time)...

Malevich's Man in a Suprematist Landscape

Malevich was a Russian artist who founded the Suprematist art movement which is based on geometric forms and limited colours.

And of course there's always some interesting architecture just round the corner...

Otto Wagner apartments decorated in Jugendstil style (Viennese Art Nouveau)

And there's lots more for another time!

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