finding architecture with google earth
Hietzing is the 13th municipal District of Vienna. Located on the west side of the city it grew rapidly at the end of the 19th century when the Metropolitan Railway system was constructed. Although the impact of the Metropolitan Railway on the lives of the general public was limited due to the fragmented organisation of its lines, the Wien valley line alone (built along the banks of the river Wien and passing by Hietzing) managed to achieve enough connectivity between the center and the western suburbs of the city. In Hietzing you can find a number of modernist buildings within walking distance. There are 5 Adolf Loos houses to start with; unfortunately all these houses are private and there is no public access to their interiors. Nevertheless these buildings have been restored and unescrupulous additions to their volumes eliminated while other major changes in their facades are now also rectified, so its makes sense to pass by even if just to see the building fronts.
Further west you can also find the Werkbundsiedlung of 1932. Inspired by Stuttgart’s Weißenhofsiedlung (housing exposition), the Vienese architect Josef Frank organised Vienna’s own display of modern houses. Frank (a founding member of CIAM) had participated in the Stuttgart exhibition where most of the modernist avant-garde was present. However the Werkbundsiedlung in Vienna was a local affair, designed mostly by the elite of Austrian architects. Although one of the intentions of the event was to produce prototypes for accesible mass housing, some of the buildings were to expensive and were never sold; these have remained under the city’s administration. The experiment was also cut short by the civil war that brought the conservatives Christian Socialists into power over the Social Democratic Party. After 1934 the ruling Christian Socialists dismissed the social housing policies created during the previous “Red Vienna” period, and investment in new hosuing for workers was greatly reduced. After that, of course, came the second World War…
In this post there are links to the Adolf Loos’s houses, a house with a facade designed by Joze Plecnick, Josef Frank’s Beer House and the whole Werkbund Housing Estate (Josef Frank, Richard Bauer, Karl A. Bieber, Otto Breuer, Anton Brenner, Josef F. Dex, Max Fellerer, Helmut Wagner Freynsheim, Hugo Gorge, Jacques Groag, Arthur Grünberger, Gabriel Guévrékian, Oswald Haerdtl, Hugo Häring, Josef Hoffmann, Clemens Holzmeister, Julius Jirasek, Ernst Lichtblau, Adolf Loos, Walter Loos, André Lurçat, Richard Neutra, Otto Niedermoser, Ernst A. Plischke, Gerrit Rietveld, Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky, Walter Sobotka, Oskar Strnad, Hans Adolf Vetter, Eugen Wachberger, Josef Wenzel & Oskar Wlach). Enjoy!
Remember to click on the pointer icons within google earth to access the photo galleries.