A painter, architect, environmental activist and philosopher, Friedensreich Hundertwasser (born 1928 -2000 in Vienna) is one of the most important and best known contemporary Austrian artists.
Hundertwasser’s commitment to using striking, bright colours and organic forms inspired by the world around us in his work developed from his belief in the power of nature and individual creativity.
The forests on the roof, wild vegetation and uneven floors of the buildings he created – he left his touch on the city’s physical and cultural landscape like almost no other artist.
Seeing as we’re now living in a time when many of us are trying to advocate the greatness of the environment we live in, we could use more Hundertwassers at this point in time. He was an advocate for the lesson that we should look to the incredible innovations of nature for lessons on how we can build, create and live.
It’s this kind of thinking, and perhaps because of the awesome name he gave himself, that Hundertwasser is so well loved as an artist and architect.
One of his most famous quotes is:
So don’t go feeling guilty when you’re on your way home a little drunk and your walk is far from straight.
This photo story starts at the Hundertwasser Haus (Kegelgasse 36-38, 1030 Wien). This is a 1985 apartment block that went under an incredible transformation under the artist’s hands.
The colourfully decorated exterior of the Hundertwasser Haus is almost fairy tale-like and it immediately captures your attention. This apartment block is like a green oasis in the city.
(Untere Weißgerberstraße 13, 1030 Wien)
Just a short walk from the Hundertwasser Haus is the gallery known as Kunst Haus Wien. This is another warped masterpiece designed by Friendsreich Hundertwasser.
Here, you won’t find any straight lines. There’s a permanent exhibition showcasing some of his most prominent paintings inside if you have the time (and you should definitely make the time).
The cafe in this building, with its wonky floors and rainforest feels, is something you have to check out. You won’t want to miss the bathroom – just trust us on this one.
(Spittelauer Lände 45, 1090 Wien)
Topped with a big shiny golden ball, it’s hard to believe that they burn up the city’s rubbish in this wacky looking building. This is one of Vienna’s municipal waste incinerators, which produces energy for around 50.000 Viennese households.
In no other city does a waste incineration plant stand out as much (in an appealing way, we mean) than this one.
Don’t be shy to inspect it from a closer distance as this is when Hundertwasser’s design reveals its true shapes and colours.