Hundertwasser: House, Architecture & Buildings

Instructor: Benjamin Truitt

Benjamin has a Bachelors in philosophy and a Master's in humanities.

Friedensreich Hundertwasser brought personality, harmony, and innocence to such impersonal endeavors like apartment complexes, corporate businesses, and modern life.

'Vertical belongs to man and the horizontal to nature' - Friedensreich Hundertwasser

If you happen across any house that looks like it might be the home of the Lorax or another Dr. Seuss creation, you have chanced upon the architecture of Friedensreich Hundertwasser. Hundertwasser was an artist, environmentalist, architect, designer, and one of the world's most creative minds from 1950 to the present! Today, let's look at the homes, buildings, and designs that Hundertwasser contributed in his architecture work!

Hundertwasser House


Imagine it's the late 1970's and you are on a municipal board to approve housing projects in Vienna, and for every design that comes your way, one member of the board has an obstructionist and spirited objection to it. This curmudgeon wants it to be beautiful, to meld with nature, yadda, yadda, yadda . . . so you challenge him. 'Fine, you don't want an ugly box-house apartment complex? You design something!' Well, that's exactly what prompted artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser to design and build the popular Hundertwasserhaus in Vienna!

Hundertwasser objected to straight-lines, drab furnishings, and architecture that took away from nature. His surreal, or dreamlike, design for the Hundertwasser House broke with all of those conventions. While it may be difficult to draw in a straight line, imagine how difficult it is to build avoiding one! Hundertwasser made sure that his house (and all his buildings) resulted in no net loss to nature, so all his buildings have green roofs where plants are grown and the Hundertwasserhaus even includes tree apartments! The Hundertwasser House was built and opened in 1985, and its apartments have always been in demand.

Architecture and Buildings


The Hundertwasser House was a big hit, and Hundertwasser was approached soon afterwards to design many other structures, including another apartment complex in Darmstadt, Germany. The Waldspirale was another of his architectural pieces that defied the drab, straight lines of the city. Hundertwasser wanted this complex to not only defy such norms of buildings, but he also wanted it to have a unique identity, down to the individual apartments. Unlike in most apartments where the floor-plan and layout is the same, each apartment is different and no two apartments share the same style of doors and windows!

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