Eight Steps to Wagner

This year Vienna celebrates an important anniversary, it has been a 100 years since Otto Wagner has died. He was one of the most influential architects of his time, and changed how the city looked like and how it still looks like today. To commemorate the master architect we have gone on an adventure searching for his legacy, and you can go on it to in 8 easy steps.

Uno – The Royal Austrian Postal Savings Bank

It was planned and constructed by Wagner at the beginning of the 20th century in two parts. And not only did he plan the building, inside and out, but he also designed anything else. So, literally anything from chairs to sockets was born out of his imagination. Fun fact on the side: the construction workers that actually built the bank were to a big part women.

Dos – Wagner Pavillon at Karlsplatz

Is one of the unique stations that remains of Wagner’s Stadtbahn, on which tracks like the U4, U6, and the S-Bahn till drive. Oh, and you might want to take a peek inside, who knows what you discover ;).

Drei – The Wienzeilenhäuser

Those consist of three buildings along the Linke Wienzeile, right next to the Naschmarkt, and are Köstlergasse 3, Linke Wienzeile 38, and Linke Wienzeile 40 (the Majolikahaus). We will let you guess in which of the three Wagner had his glass bathtub in. Unfortunately, that got lost throughout the years –  we guess it stands now in the middle of the Amber Room.

Oh – and on a short note: do not go inside! The buildings are private residences, and the people there will call the police on you, if they catch you. So, simply don’t.

Quattro – The Hofpavillon Hietzing

Is another station that survived the passing of time. Although, it is quite special – it was built by Wagner and given to the Emperor as a present, in one of the biggest publicity stunts the empire ever saw. Because you have to know that the Emperor was not to allowed the same stations as the normal people, so he had to have his own. And Wagner knowing that fact used this situation to his advantage. Side fact: the Emperor took the present, but he never actually wanted it.

Cinq – The Schemerl Brücke

We already mentioned that Wagner built also other things than residential residences, train stations or banks, didn’t we? Oh, we didn’t? Well, now we have. The bridge spans the Donaukanal and is part of a weir that kept the canal from overflowing. Fun fact: one of the two stoic lions on the bridge sports the architects features.

Sechs – The Schützenhaus

In the past it also used to be part of the Kaiserbad weir during Wagner’s days, today it houses a restaurant. With it’s two floors, overall symmetry, blue and white tiles, it’s one of the most eye-catching buildings along the Donaukanal; and a clear example for Wagner’s style.

Siete – The Lupuspavillon at Wilhelminenspital

This building is also defined by the architects love for clear symmetrical lines and his pragmatist approach to architecture. An approach that can be seen in nearly all of his buildings, and is best summarized in Wagner’s own words: “What is impractical can never be beautiful.”.

Otto – The Church at Steinhof

Wagner designed and built it for the patients of the Steinhof Psychiatric Hospital, having even rooms for Jews and Muslims in mind. It’s one of the most important Art Nouveau buildings and resides on top of a hill, giving you not only a view unto the hospital, but also the city.

So, my dear adventures! These were eight of the many buildings built and planned by Otto Wagner that still stand in the city and we hope you enjoyed them. And also that you take them as an inspiration for your own Wagner adventure, since there are still other buildings hidden in the city.

However, if you still need inspiration for it, you might want to have a look at our last post on the exhibitions that are going on during summer. Or you might want to visit the Wien Museum until the 7th of October. It boasts a huge collection showcasing all aspects of his life (1841-1918), both public and professional, as well as private. And if you’re already there why don’t you check out the picture wall, where you will see over a 100 different impressions of his work and how it fits into the city today. Another source for information might be the Wagner Werke, a small museum hidden in building numero uno.

But whatever you do, don’t forget to enjoy your adventure!

 

 

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