The Hundertwasser Haus Vienna is an apartment house in Vienna, designed in a collaboration between architect Joseph Krawina and painter Friedensreich Hundertwasser. Friedenreich began to focus on architecture in the early 1950’s, writing and reading in public manifestos and essay. In 1972 his first models was seen in a TV-show. By 1977 the mayor Leopold Gratz suggested that Hundertwasser be given the opportunity to realize his ideas in the architectural world, by allowing him to build a housing project. In a letter of 15. december 1977 Gratz invited Hundertwasser to create a an apartment building according to his own ideas. But as Hundertwasser knew that he was not actually a real architect, he asked the City of Vienna to provide a professional and that was how Josef Krawina invited to join the artist and making ideas become reality.
In 1979 Krawina presented his designed to Hundertwasser, who rejected them right away, as they represented the leveling, straight-lined modular grid, the total opposite of the artists wishes for the building. This ended up in an ongoing conflict, which ended up with Krawina leaving the project and an employee of the Citys Magistratsabteilung 19, Peter Pelikan, took over the planning. Hundertwasser and Pelikan became long term partners, working together on several other project.
The building was build between 1983 and 1985 according to the original ideas, as uneven floors, roof covered with earth and grass and large trees growing from inside the rooms. Hundertswasser took no payment for the design, declaring that is was worth it, to prevent something ugly from going up in it place.
Within the house are 52 apartments, four offices, 16 private terraces and 3 communal terraces and a total of 250 trees and bushes. The Hundertwasser House is one og Viannes most visited buildings and has become a part of the countries cultural heritage.
As this building has a lot of branding, Josef Krawina has fought for over 8 years to be ruled as a co-creator of the house, which he finally won in 2010. As the effect is is now forbidden for the Hundertwasser Non- Profit Foundation to disseminate any illustration or replica of the house, without acknowledging Krawina as co-creator. According to the ruling, Hundertwasser was the sole spiritual creator of the building, however Krawine must be recognized as a co-creator og equal standing and be paid equal share in royalty receipts. Such a history for a very special building.
The Hundertwasser House is surely worth the visit, and remember to check our top-ten coffee shops in Vienna, as Tian Bistro is very close and you should visit this place if you have the time.