Thursday, July 3, 2014

euro-whirl 2014: vienna / part 3, hundertwasser haus


our last stop of the day was to the hundertwasser haus (it's often written as one word, like "hundertwasserhaus"), marking the time we made one of the best travel decisions we've ever made. the hundertwasser haus was designed by the artist friedensreich hundertwasser (how many times can i say "hundertwasser in two sentences?!). it's an apartment building not quite in the heart of vienna, but not too far from the center, & it's this glorious achievement. there were a lot of preliminary deals & resolutions that had to be made before it was built, but the fact that it received approval to be created - that it left the "ideas on paper" stage & turned into an actual thing -  is a huge accomplishment in the relationship between art &...reality, i guess. that it's this huge artistic feat that also functions as a place that people can use in their everyday lives. 


one of the things i loved the most about the hundertwasser haus was its attention to detail. you'll see it in the next several photos, but there were small, colorful tiles lining the windows & dotting the walls like an ant trail, funny shapes in the ground, a whimsical fountain...anyway. let's take a look:




see the little tile formations above the windows?


these were the stairs leading up to a little cafe that occupied one corner of the h.haus.



the details were all around - at eye level, above our heads...




...& below our feet. see the bumps & rolls in the ground (& the tile in the fountain)?






you can see the little restaurant there in the background...& cute ben managing to find a stable seat among the roly-poly-ness (a word?! :/ ) of the ground in front of the building:


it's almost like the little details were amazing enough they could have been the only cool thing about the haus & it would have been fine. but, once you step back & take in the entire thing, it becomes even more thrilling:


(the colors are a tad less vibrant & bright than the photos one finds in a google search of the h.haus, but let's forge on, because it was nonetheless still awesome)


i love that there are no rules to this building. splashes of color, no straight lines dividing the individual apartments (see the black swaths of paint separating one color from another?), lines of tile, a hilly stone ground out front...it's like he took a weird, fantastical dream & not only transferred it to plans on paper, but into, like, a real-life, three-dimensional painting.


how much do you think it costs to live in this building? do people ever actually move away from here? i would live there forever, no matter what, & bequeath the apartment to my kids, & grandkids, & treat that precious space like gold! i'm sure the people who live there do.


there weren't as many tourists there as i thought - it wasn't packed like a madhouse - which was nice. it was really quiet, & peaceful, & i love that the space is kind of open & free so that you can walk all around & through it to see every last thing.



& i also love that this building isn't typically what you would think of when you think "vienna." it really does make a fun statement as a quirky, modern structure set squarely among the more stately lines of the buildings you'd expect to see in such a classically european city.




see that large black triangle, on its side, by my head? details!




apparently the artist planted trees inside the building & they've been growing out the windows. see the tree doing just that, in the left of this photo?


you can read more about hundertwasser here. he actually had quite an interesting life. there are lots of buildings all over the world (think japan, new zealand, germany, even one in the u.s!) similar in design to this one in vienna.




goodbye for now!

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