07 May 2010

Color me Bad

The artist & architect Friedrich Stowasser (1928 - 2000) changed his name to Friedensreich Regentag Dunkelbunt Hundertwasser which roughly translates as Peaceful Rainy day Darkly multicolored Hundred water, which is reason enough for me to take a shine to a fella. But Hundertwasser did some even niftier things in his day.

Like design this awesome apartment house in Vienna. Called, what else, Hundertwasserhaus. It's still just a regular ol' city owned apartment building, so while it may be one of the most prestigious addresses in Vienna, rent isn't much higher than any other state-owned apartment building, which I think is pretty nifty.

Hundertwasser waved his fee for the design because he said it was worth the work to "prevent something ugly from going up in its place."

View of the building from around the corner. Hundertwasser incorporated trees right into the fabric of his architecture, calling them "Tree Tenants" and saying they paid more in rent than their human occupants by cleansing the city air, attracting birds, cooling with their shade and soothing with their beauty. He also typically designed planted roofs - with soil and sod, trees & bushes - all with one eye on beauty and the other on the environment.He also liked to put onion domes on top of his buildings. Can't argue with that.

There is whimsy and playfulness everywhere you look.

And lots of ceramic and mosaic work.

(Q: Why do I always make that face in photos? A: It always seems funny at the time.)

Two classic whackadoodle Hundertwasser quotes:
"An uneven floor is a melody to the feet." and "The straight line is ungodly."

The man was full of radical ideas. The "window right," for example, in which he called for every person to have the right to change the exterior of their apartment building (even a rented one!) from their window. Whatever they could reach from the window they should be allowed to scrape, resurface, tile or paint to reflect their individual outlook to the world.

Around the corner from the Hundertwasser house is another of his buildings, this one housing an art museum (filled mostly with his work.)

Even his parking spaces were all higgeldy-piggeldy.

He's been accused of being too gimmicky in his work, but I like his playfulness, the environmental factor, his bright colors and the organic feel of his work. Hundertwasser is my favorite non-conformist at the moment. Below are a couple of his other buildings and one of his paintings that I grabbed off the internet for your viewing pleasure.

Note the planted garden roof.

Dig those colors!


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I likey!

I agree that the straight line is unGodly - I have made a career out of that belief.

And I would love to park in one of those crazy parking spots!

Thanks for such an inspirational post.

xo Whimsical Line Shirl