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Organically Irregular Design

December 15th, 2009

During my travels to Vienna, Austria, I was always intrigued by the buildings designed by Friedensreich Hundertwasser. You can imagine my amazement when I found out I can spend a few nights in a hotel, of which the exterior as well as interior was one of the last works of this famous Austrian painter and architect.

Hot Springs Village in Blumau (Styria) looks like a surreal city in the middle of a beautiful rural land. Round shapes, contrasting colors, oddly placed doors and windows, and green roofs are all Hundertwasser trademarks, recognizable worldwide (some of his projects are even in Japan and New Zealand).

Bad Blumau 1

In Hundertwasser’s words:
“If man walks in nature’s midst, then he is nature’s guest and must learn to behave as a well-brought-up guest.”

Bad Blumau 2

Hundertwasser’s recognizable spirals, strong color contrasts, lack of straight corners, and mosaics are present everywhere – even in the hotel bathrooms. The art becomes an integral decoration, accessible on an everyday basis. The eco-friendly approach to nature and its beauty (green roofs, trees growing in the middle of buildings) stays up-to-date today, showing Hundertwasser’s visionary approach to the applied arts and architecture.

Bad Blumau 3 Bad Blumau 4

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4 Responses to “Organically Irregular Design”

  1. Leslie Jones Says:

    Thanks! Inspirational article and photos. It’s easy to get caught up in symmetry…

  2. Maureen K. Calamia Says:

    Thanks for the photos. I have heard about his work, but now I can see why it’s so unusual. I truly appreciate the “greenness” – bringing nature inside (would love to see a photo of that tree in the building!) and the fact that he has done “organic lines.” Both of these are part of Feng Shui principles. However, the organic lines shown here are more chaotic. That bathroom would make me feel unbalanced and perhaps give me a headache. Organic has been done better, in my opinion. Christopher Day (author of Places of the Soul) has done some wonderful organic buildings. It’s always good to see the spectrum of design that is out there. I thank you for that!

  3. Laurie Says:

    The building most definitely looks like a guest of nature. Beautiful greenery and pretty amazing that the greenery envelopes the building. I love the rhythm of this building. It's lyrical. If this building was music, the outside would be playing a Bach Cantata and the bathroom with the "Mondrian Picasso-esque" tile would be playing jazz with a scatt back beat.

  4. bozena Says:

    I love the musical comparison, Laurie!
    Maureen, you're right regarding the chaotic feel, but it is only present in the interior. The exterior "unorganized" lines compose beautifully with the surrounding landscape.

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