Thursday, 28 January 2016

Architecture needn't be boring

His work may be controversial or eccentric but can never be considered boring.

Friedensreich Hundertwasser was an Austrian artist and architect famous for his unusual buildings. He opposed straight lines and standardisation. He was an environmentalist who belived that vegetation should be allowed to flourish both inside and outside of his buildings. He was an early advocate of green roofs. His Hundertwasserhaus apartment block in Vienna has uneven floors, trees growing from inside and a grassed roof. The Waldenspiral in Darmstadt has over 1000 windows, not one alike. In Osaka, the waste treatment works is a building of beauty, vibrant with colour.

Hundertwasser believed that the individual should have the freedom to build. His "Mouldiness Manifesto" written in 1958 claimed "If such a fantastic structure built by the tenants themselves collapses, it will usually creak beforehand, anyway, so that people will be able to escape".  He encouraged individuality :  "The tenant must have the freedom to lean out of his window and as far as his arms can reach, transform the exterior of his dwelling space. And he must be allowed to take a long brush and as far as his arms can reach paint everything pink, so that from far away, from the street, everyone can see: there lives a man who distinguishes himself from his neighbours..."

Hundertwasser was also an artist. He studied briefly at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna. One can quickly see the similarities between his architecture and paintings. He described his artisitc style as transautomatism, focussing on the experience of the viewer rather than the artist. He designed stamps, clothing, coinage and posters. 

Born Friedrich Stowasser in 1928 to a Jewish mother, he escaped persecution by being baptised a catholic  and joining the Hitler Youth. Hundertwasser was an active environmental campaigner who opposed the European Union and advocated the restoration of the monarchy. He spent his later years in New Zealand and died in 2000 whilst aboard the QEII.

The Hundertwasser Turm is an observation tower at a brewery in Abensberg, Southern Germany. 

The cellar of the tower is just as decorative.
Also in Abensberg, the Hunderwasserhaus.
Uelzen Railway Station where a traditional building has been transformed.
The Hundertwasserhaus in Vienna, perhaps his most famous building is covered in vegetation.
The Waldenspirale in Darmstadt. 1000 unique windows.
The Grune Zitadella. Magdeburg. The final project completed after his death.
Waste treatment plants are usually shunned for good reason. This one in Osaka, on the other hand, is celebrated.
Malerei. Typical of Hundertwasser's style of painting.

No comments:

Post a Comment