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Hundertwasser Haus, Vienna (1977 - 1986)

Viennese artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser (1928 - 2000) was an environmentalist and an outspoken opponent of mass-produced or poorly designed architecture which he felt constrained the creativity of those forced to live within it. He published a number of manifestos on both topics throughout his life.

The municipal government knew that Hundertwasser, by then already an established and internationally known painter, would oppose yet another faceless housing project were they to propose one. So, in the early 1980s, it challenged Hundertwasser to design an apartment building. He came up with the Hundertwasser Haus, one of the first of many buildings he was commissioned to build or redesign.

The building caters for the individuality of those living there: each door and its door furniture is different, the windows are all shapes and sizes, the floors are not level, and tenants are permitted to alter their apartments both inside and out so that the exterior walls are a patchwork of colour, mosaics and decoration. The building incorporates 'tree tenants' that grow in small apartments filled with earth. Hundertwasser asserted that they could provide shade, shelter and a filter for water and earned the space they inhabited. The roof is also planted so that from above the building appears to be a raised meadow or garden. A whole city with planted roofs appear part of the landscape from the air.

More information on Hundertwasser's architecture and work is at:





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