Starting in the 1960s, Viennese post-war architecture has set new accents in the city. In the 1980s and 1990s, revolutionary residential buildings were proposed. And in the first decade of the 21st century, new architectural landmarks arose in Vienna, such as the MuseumsQuartier and Danube City.
Vienna is Hundertwasser, Bauhaus and modern design at its best
In the 1960s, the visionary designs of architects and artists caused great excitement and were known as the “Austrian Phenomenon“. However, most of the revolutionary ideas of Hans Hollein and Coop Himmelb(l)au remained just projects and installations. Implementation was limited to businesses or pubs, such as Hollein’s flagship store “Retti” on Kohlmarkt. Hollein, inspired by the moon landing, implemented his vision of a space capsule on an area of just 14 square meters.
In the 1980s, new housing developments and residential buildings were built – often in the post-modern style. In the middle of the 1980s, Vienna had a true architecture scandal: Hans Hollein’s design for a modern, glass building across from the time-honored St. Stephen’s Cathedral caused a furor. The Haas House was built nonetheless (and opened in 1990), and contemporary architecture in Vienna thus drew increased attention. Another contributing factor this was a roof extension by Coop Himmelb(l)au, completed in 1988 in the first district (Falkestraße) and known about beyond the borders of Austria.
Friedrich Hundertwasser also generated excitement; he created his best-known buildings in Vienna in the 1980s: the Hundertwasser House, Vienna’s most bizarre apartment building, and the Kunst Haus Wien as well as the Spittelau garbage incinerator facility. For all of his buildings, Hundertwasser demanded creative freedom and harmony with nature. Sooner laughed at by architects, his colorful designs are very popular with the Viennese and tourists alike.
All international architects want to leave their footprint in Vienna
The construction of new apartments has enjoyed a renewed boom since the 1990s. Numerous architects are implementing innovative ideas: Casket Factory, Wienerberg-City with the Twin Towers by Massimiliano Fuksas, the North Train Station municipal development area, Kabelwerk, Zaha Hadid’s residential building near the Spittelau city rail arches, and the Gasometer according to designs by Jean Nouvel, Coop Himmelb(l)au, Manfred Wehdorn, and Wilhelm Holzbauer ignited an international furor.
The MuseumsQuartier is one of the largest architectural projects of the beginning of the 21st century. And the Danube City has already been the largest municipal development project in Vienna since 1996. The skyline on the other side of the Danube is growing constantly. Numerous towers of more than 100 meters in height have been built there in recent years. The DC Tower 1 by star architect Dominique Perrault is set to become the tallest building in Austria by 2013 at 220 meters.
The current architectural hot-spots of the capital city are the new Twin City Liners landing stage on the Danube Canal (by Fasch & Fuchs) and the new luxury hotel built by Jean Nouvel diagonally across the street. The new Vienna Central Station is also a very good proof of the big capacity of Vienna´s architectural design. A completely new part of the city arose on the premises of the former South Train Station.