He made up his name to be one of a kind. Riot of his selfhood became the basis for enormous artistic heritage while architecture demonstrated the possibility to combine ecological compatibility with modern technologies.
Straight lines had been arousing Friedensreich Hundertwasser’s indignation since childhood. Dismal recollections of geometrically perfect columns of German soldiers marching his native Austria after its Anschluss by the Nazis are probably to blame. Since then the artist declared full-on war to regular shapes and this made him one of the most cognizable architects of the latest century. Bulbs that decorate Friedensreich’s buildings are known around the globe as a symbol of fight against straight alignment
Shapes created by Hundertwasser could be called queer if not for author’s strict concept that touched not only upon his pictural and literary works but also upon his life style itself. The artist had always worn odd socks, proclaimed his manifestos fully naked and protested against enlargement of EU as a structure that deprives peoples of their authenticity. Hundertwasser was a homilist of tuneful coexistence with nature and at the same time a fighter for any displays of selfhood. Even small details in his projects testify to that: every Hunderwasser’s window is stylistically unique, roofs are all sown with grass and reach for the sky with tops of trees planted along the perimeter. Faces of buildings graphically demonstrate the master’s belief in “Window Right”: any cave dweller is entitled to paint outer walls of the apartment within arm’s reach. Photo bezkordonu.com
Hundertwasser turned to architecture when he had already gained popularity as a painter. His passion for journeys attributed to it significantly. By the age of 40 he had travelled the whole Europe having mastered numerous languages, visited Japan and countries of Arab Peninsular and North Africa. Milestone in all this movements became Spain since it is there, in Barcelona, where our “window” demiurge got acquainted with the mystic legacy of Antoni Gaudi. The Ausitrian himself more than once admitted he had been under the influence of the king of modern.
Freethinking Hundertwasser felt architecture as if it was his third skin alongside his own skin and clothing. And despite his utmost whimsicality, the concept has awoken a decent echo in hearts of people in different countries. Hundertwasser’s houses can be seen not only in his motherland but also in Germany, Switzerland, USA, Japan and New Zealand. Among them there are small projects that the architect came up with redesign for, comprehensive architectural complexes and even industrial constructions. Hundertwasser wasn’t above embodying his ideas into creations of the most diverse scales. In his most famous house in Vienna about fifty apartments, cafés, parking and terraces are situated while just as pretentious a building in Magdeburg – the Green Citadel, concluded after the architect’s death, – is designed to accommodate over a hundred residential and office premises aside from a theatre and a hotel. It is noteworthy that Friedensreich refused to take payment for his Vienna project: it was enough for him that nothing ugly was erected in the place.Photo bezkordonu.com
As an environmentalist Hundertwasser had always been interested in waste treatment issues. He stated that nature had no garbage and excrements so they shouldn’t evoke disgust in people. Philosophy of a like nature found its vent in designing of refuse burning factory in Vienna and even in erecting public lavatory in New Zealand. Both objects despite being literally trash-focused have amazing amounts of tourists willing to check them out.Photo lh3.googleusercontent.com
To conclude with, back to our “geography of the concept” it is worth saying that it wasn’t only WC-building that connected Friedensreich to New Zealand. This country occupied a special place in his life, level with Spain. Here he erected his dream dwelling and was buried here as well. Everything according to his will: no clothing, no coffin, near the roots of a tree.
Where to look for Clementin, the narrowest hotel in Czech Republic merely 3.28 meters wide, how to chose between Pilsner Urquel, Krušovice and Gambrinus, when to feed gold-colored carps and why tram 91 has no peer? Elvira Matrosova learned about these and more. And despite the fact that this city stands on Vltava (Wilth-ahwa – literally means Wild water), it is aristocratic, consistent and calm yet far from Puritanism.
More than fifteen hundred years ago Romans were awe struck when they caught the very first sight of the Sistine Chapel. After that masters of painting were born and dead as well as whole pictural art styles. And contemporaries of you and me gape on the distinguished temple.
Vienna is a blood vessel of old Europe known for being aristocratic, sophisticated, filled with museums. Photographer Yulia Kochetova says what visiting this city it is mandatory to attend the Opera, pay homage to royal palaces and drink delicious coffee with cream.There are 80 city museums out of which one can and should choose, so let’s start falling in love with the Vienna Museum Quarter.
Especially for those who believe theater and opera music to be vestige of the past, we tell about an amazing Austrian theater where traditional art meets technical and engineering novelties and also a great view of the Alps.
The word is, Guy de Maupassant hated Eiffel Tower. The famous writer believed that it was uglifying the face of Paris without benefiting the city. Nevertheless, he could be often seen in a cozy cafe on the top of the construction. In such cases the author of “Bel Ami” used to say that “it was the only way the damned tower dropped out of his sight…”
There is hardly a person, who did not cancel his or her appointment or a walk due to nasty weather, since it is a challenge to get dressed, to keep warm, to wait in the bitter cold for transport, instead you feel like wrapping yourself in blanket and read a book.
Austria Tyrol area is very distinctive. It has its unique cuisine, and even its own style of singing. Here the centuries-old history is perfectly coupled with natural beauty and sport facilities. Top of diversity manifestation is small mountain town of Innsbruck. It is the administrative centre of Tyrol, as well as one of the cleanest places in Europe, popular sports resort and a world-famous centre of contemporary art.
Should we have a look at notes of those who plan their trips to Spain, next to the darling of all hearts, Barcelona, Montserrat is bound to rank second. Also, the mountain of the abbey is a must-visit spot for local dwellers, too – they believe it necessary to visit Catalonia’s religious heart at least once a year.
Stereotypes are terrible. They form a definite picture of the world in our heads, and it is not so easy to change. Take, for instance, the concept of skyscraper: imagination of 90% people immediately provoke skyline of American cities, familiar from movies and TV. It is quite logical, but nowadays panorama of the best luxury skyscrapers is in other direction – keep moving to the East. For Arab structures may outdo Western ones in all respects.
Sauntering through picturesque nooks of Grand Dame Europe we look around without even suspecting how many interesting things there are beneath our feet. If you are annoyed with standard tours that include marathon race around museums and monuments, we suggest you have a look at good Old World from a different perspective. Or more specifically, look under its feet.
What do you imagine when you hear the word "abbey"? I'm sure most people will first of all think of Westminster. But what if I said that in fact it is no longer an abbey? So what makes these medieval buildings so special? Let's look at the example of buildings from different European countries.
"A small territory with a great mission" is the motto under which on February 11, 1929 Lateran Treaty between the Kingdom of Italy and the Holy See recognized Vatican as a sovereign territory. It was an agreement which opened doors for curious patrons who for centuries had been trading gossip about "What is kept inside Vatican castles?".
Why have three wives if there is a chance to get hold of jewels? And as soon as a name of a king becomes “nourished” with a collection of family relics, one can start thinking about the one and only who will continue a reputed kin. Knowing that Thirty Years’ War was about to begin, Christian IV of Denmark and Norway ordered to build a castle that would be impossible to destroy.
In the very heart of jungles, surrounded by a stripe of water around the perimeter, a huge regular-shaped rectangle that seems like it is giving geometry classes to the starts overlooking it is situated. Silent skies saw times of shiny glory and painful descent of this amazing object. Over five centuries it had been the prime pearl of the mysterious Khmer Empire, its crowning glory and its enemies’ envy.
Buddhists say: to get rid of suffering, one should get rid of desire. There are special places for that. Today we suggest you to check out our top five of stunning temples, where Buddhists and tourists are looking for a way to harmony for their souls.
Here were born composer Mozart and poet Georg Trakl, here Haydn wrote his operas, and many other famous people are connected with Salzburg. But only a small part of local attractions is linked to these geniuses. A city with a fairly small population, thanks to its memorable places was listed by UNESCO as World Heritage Site.
The architecture of temples has interesting and sometimes controversial history. Quite often the novelties and fundamentals of movements in architecture started with the building of temples with sophisticated design. The Polish Roman Catholic churches are rather bright in their beauty.
Mosque, is a prayer building with a dome. It has adjacent minaret towers, there can be not more then nine minarets; stepping inside a pilgrim sees ancient writings which are lines from the Quran. Only Arabic words adorn the walls, portrait painting is prohibited. Today we will tell our readers about the most extraordinary treasures of the Muslim world.
Sometimes it happens that you look at a postcard with a picture of a city and instantly realize that this is Kyiv, or Moscow, or Rome or your native village. And it isn’t courtesy of your geography teacher but back-breaking efforts of artisans with whose hands commonly familiar architecture masterpieces were created. Today we recall Italian conqueror of marble Gian Lorenzo Bernini.
Seoul of South Korea that blisteringly turned from an ancient city of a poor country into a prospering capital of an advanced state over 20th century, definitely deserves respect; as much esteem is earned by those municipal officials and patriots who, in times of explosive industrialization, managed to preserve glorious heritage of the past – royal palaces of Joseon dynasty.