Friedensreich Hundertwasser was an Austrian artist and architect who spent his whole career championing the curve of organic nature against the straight line. From the mid 70s, all his amazing buildings were ergonomically curved and ecologically integrated with natural features of the landscape. This list provides an overview of some of the best examples of typical Hundertwasser architecture with uneven floors, unique windows, and spontaneous vegetation.
The building complex “Hundertwasser in den Wiesen” in the small town of Bad Soden was designed as a condominium of 22 units. The building comprises both a new structure, the Hundertwasserhaus itself and a historic structure, the first bath house of Bad Soden, which has been incorporated into the design. The overall character of the Building is very different from traditional German architecture with its elaborate ornamentation of glazed beaded columns resembling the onion shaped gilded domes of Islamic mosques and the baldachin like use of roofs resembling ancient temple architecture.
The original Uelzen railway station was heavily damaged as a result of the WWII. It was renovated for Expo 2000 following plans by Hundertwasser. As an environmentally and culturally oriented station, the Uelzen station is now marketed as the Hundertwasser-Bahnhof Uelzen. Today it is one of the town’s popular tourist attractions.
The Ronald McDonald Haus in Essen is one of 16 houses in Germany providing a home away from home for families of seriously ill children receiving treatment at nearby hospitals. The building, with 17 special rooms, was personally designed by Friedensreich Hundertwasser. Each colorful design element of this house has intended meaning too, from the wrap-around structure meant to embrace the temporary guests, to the life bearing trees that extend from the inner walls.
The KunstHausWien (Art House Vienna) features the world’s only permanent exhibition of Hundertwasser’s. It also hosts regular temporary exhibitions of other artists. The museum was created through the renovation of the 1892 building which housed the Thonet furniture factory that created the iconic bistro chair. The entire building was renovated in typical Hundertwasser style, with wavy, undulating floors and a notable lack of straight lines. It stands less than half a mile from the famous Hundertwasserhaus.
The Hundertwasser House in Plochingen is an architectural and artistic eyecatcher in this southern Germany town. The inner courtyard of the complex was designed by Hundertwasser. It features cheerful colors, rounded shapes, whimsical balconies on sedate ceramic pillars, ceramic bands symbolizing streaks of rain running off the building, and trees sprouting from oriels and rooftops.
The Quixote Winery in Napa Valley, California is the only project in the US built by Hundertwasser. The owner, Carl Doumani, wanted to create a small and sustainable winery and formed a friendship with architect Hundertwasser. Partly due to the unusual design process and construction methods of Hundertwasser, it took 10 years to complete the structure. The winery is designed with ceramic tiles, irregularly rounded and painted columns, and deliberately uneven floors. The winery building is dominated by an onion dome covered in gold leaf, as well as a living roof topped with grass, bushes, and trees.
Located in the heart of Magdeburg since 2005, the Green Citadel (Gruene Zitadelle) was the last project of Hundertwasser. He was originally asked to change an ordinary house of East German style, but with the development of the idea it was decided to construct a completely new building. The building houses a hotel with 42 rooms, all differently designed, a theater, offices, shops, a kindergarten and 55 apartments. The building received its title due to the large number of trees that grow in the yard, on the floors and on the roof.
The Hundertwasserkirche or St Barbara Parish Church is a colorful, cheerful place of worship in the Austrian towny of Bärnbach in Styria. The original church was built in the 1950s and was redesigned by Hundertwasser together with architect Manfred Fuchsbichler. The tower, roof, façades, gold onion dome and other domes are rich and varied in form. The building is surrounded by 12 gates representing the major religions and cultures.
The Rogner-Bad Blumau is a hot spa resort, near the town of Bad Blumau in Austria. Aiming to create a synergy between man, nature and architecture, Hundertwasser, devised a fairytale exterior and a wonderfully twisting interior where straight edges have no place and none of its 2,400 windows are the same. Some of the rooms are underground, with windows facing lit courtyards, while others follow the rolling design of the surrounding landscape. The hot springs also provide heat and generate power for the resort.
Completed in 2000, the Waldspirale is a residential building complex in the German city of Darmstadt. The name translates into English as forest spiral, reflecting both the general plan of the building and the fact that it has a green roof. It contains 105 apartments, a parking garage, a kiosk as well as a café located at the top of the spiral. None of the over 1000 windows of the Waldspirale are the same; they are all unique. Similarly, different handles are attached in each apartment to the doors and windows. Some of the apartments are decorated in Hundertwasser’s personal style and exhibit the colorful tiles in the bath and kitchen that are characteristic of his work.
The Kuchlbauer Tower is a 35 meter (115 foot) high observation tower on the grounds of the Kuchlbauer Brewery in Abensberg, a town in Lower Bavaria in Germany. Hundertwasser died in 2000 during the planning phase of the structure and the tower was completed after his death under the direction of Leonhard Salleck, owner of the brewery, with architect Peter Pelikan overseeing construction.
The Hundertwasserhaus is a colorful apartment building near Vienna’s center in the Landstraße district. Hundertwasser developed the concept with noted architect Krawina doing the building’s design. Each of the 52 apartments is a different color; some just out from the building proper, with several trees covering the roofs, while more trees grow inside other units, their limbs sticking out windows. Construction on the innovative apartment building ended in 1985; today, it is an intrinsic part of Vienna’s cultural heritage.