Vienna's Modern and Art Deco Architecture Walking Tour (Self Guided), Vienna

Vienna’s architectural displays represent a wide array of time periods and styles. The popular Art Deco style, or Jugendstil, impresses visitors with its bold design and façade. This walking tour will introduce you to some of Vienna’s modern buildings of the 20th century.
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Vienna's Modern and Art Deco Architecture Walking Tour Map

Guide Name: Vienna's Modern and Art Deco Architecture Walking Tour
Guide Location: Austria » Vienna (See other walking tours in Vienna)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 9
Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.3 Km or 3.3 Miles
Author: leticia
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Hundertwasserhaus
  • Kunsthaus Vienna
  • Postsparkasse
  • Haas House
  • Loos Haus
  • Albertina Museum
  • Karlsplatz Stadtbahn Station
  • Secession Building
  • Majolica House
1
Hundertwasserhaus

1) Hundertwasserhaus (must see)

The Hundertwasserhaus is one of the most interesting, yet odd, architectural building complexes in Vienna. It sits as an antithetical statement about what architecture can be, as it is compared to the surrounding buildings of its neighborhood. It can almost look like a rainbow, with all the colorful walls. The walls and crooked, yet seem to flow in and out of one another. There is simply nothing else like it in the city.

The construction was the brain child of Friedensreich Hundertwasser. He was born in 1928, and sadly passed away in 2001. The designer did not finish the place until 1984, because of some legal issues. He was a painter by trade, who over time became increasingly interested in architectural design that could live in harmony with nature. He was also a political activist, who constantly pushed the Viennese government to move away from a totally conservative look for the city.

The Hundertwasserhaus is not very far away from the center of the city. In fact, it is a comfortable walk from most of the major sites of Vienna. It is well worth the walk to see this most fascinating place.
Sight description based on wikipedia
2
Kunsthaus Vienna

2) Kunsthaus Vienna (must see)

The Kinsthauswein is the brain child of the famous Viennese artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser. The complex is now a museum dedicated to the work of the man. It can be located in the Landstrabe District of town. The place is the only official spot that keeps a permanent display of the works of the famous artist. Even the building itself was designed to be able to show off the works in a pleasing manner. At last note, the location received over 170,000 visitors every year, making it a very popular tourist destination in Vienna.

The building was designed and erected in 1892. The original structure used to be a furniture factory that was, at one time, famous for inventing the so called bistro chair. The famous artist designed the structure in typical fashion for his work. You will find flowing non straight floors and curved walls that make you feel as though you are moving in and out of areas. It opened to the public in 1991 as a museum.

The building opens at 10:00 a.m. daily, so the built in café and restaurant. The museum section closes daily at 7:00 p.m., but you have to be in the building by 6:30 p.m. to get a ticket. The café stays open until 8:00 p.m.
Sight description based on wikipedia
3
Postsparkasse

3) Postsparkasse

The Austrian Postal Savings Bank is housed in one of the buildings in Vienna that was created by the famous Otto Wagner. The organization as a whole was invented by Georg Coch. He had studied the principles of banking abroad, and came back home and opened the first bank in Vienna, and the whole area, that would do so called “moneyless transfers.” Bank transfers would simply being recorded as a credit on a ledger for one, and a debit on the ledger for another account, thereby eliminating the need to have lots of cash on hand at the bank to do such simple transfers.

The building itself is considered to be among the most important examples of classic Austrian architecture to be found anywhere in the country. It was a early example of a building done with a steel grid system, and then reinforced with concrete. This type of construction is now done the world over, and is considered pretty much standard fair. However, for the early 1900s, when the building was erected, it was considered a marvel to behold for this new technique. You will find the place at the southern end of the Ringstrabe, and is included in many tours of the area.
Sight description based on wikipedia
4
Haas House

4) Haas House (must see)

The Haas House of Vienna is a very modern example of architecture in a town where there is a premium of buildings done in a conservative manner. In fact, the project to build this structure was highly debated and contested. It almost didn’t happen at all. The architect of record was Haus Hollein.

The issue surrounds the fact that the modern style building, made of concrete and lots of glass, sits next to St. Stephen’s Cathedral. Such a change in style was considered to detract from the classic beauty of the old Catholic house of worship.

The facade of the location is round, and is reminiscent of the old Vindobona. This style of home can be found all across the First District of the City. Newer homes were built on top of the old Roman structures underneath, and tried to use some of the those structures to anchor newer buildings. In a similar way, the Haas project tried to use these principles to have the building blend into the architecture of old. Take a ride to the top of the building, to the coffee house, and enjoy the view of the old Cathedral, along with a lovely cup of coffee.
Sight description based on wikipedia
5
Loos Haus

5) Loos Haus

The Loos Haus was designed by the famous architect of the same last name, i.e. Adolf Loos. It represents one of the most important contributions to Viennese architecture, because of its classic Wiener Moderne style. It has a simple, yet sticking facade, which was the source of much controversy in the day. One will notice that there are no window bays done with the usual “stucco and lintels.”

Emperor Franz Josef, at first sight of the project, considered it to be an eye sore, and tried to work to have the project stopped. He considered the building to really be a silent form of protest against the luxury of the Hofburg. The citizens of Vienna were also shocked by its simple design. In fact, they ended up naming the place “the home without eyebrows.” The local community actually resorted to attacks against Mr. Loos. To help the problem, he agreed to decorate some of the window ledges with flower pots.

There is a simple beauty in the sleek lines of the structure though. Many buildings designed after it also started making use of the simpler design, and also moved away from the classic facade that was so much the hallmark of Wienner Secession style architecture. The total project was not completed until 1912, because of the issues with the change in style.
Sight description based on wikipedia
6
Albertina Museum

6) Albertina Museum (must see)

Albertina Museum's claim to fame centers on its very large collection of old master prints and drawings. In fact, there are over 65,000 drawings in storage here. Apart from the graphics collection, the museum has recently acquired on permanent loan two significant collections of Impressionist and early 20th-century art, some of which will be on permanent display. The museum also houses temporary exhibitions.

Why You Should Visit:
Beautiful building with a fantastic selection of artworks and art styles. Easy to get in with an online ticket (no waiting time).
The open balcony area on the top floor is an excellent place for picture taking, as it faces many of the city's historical buildings.

Tip:
Make sure you have at least 2.5 hours on your hands to check everything.
The audio guide is for all the exhibitions, so it is worth spending some extra for it.

Opening Hours:
Thu-Tue: 9am-6pm; Wed, Fri: 9am-9pm
Sight description based on wikipedia
7
Karlsplatz Stadtbahn Station

7) Karlsplatz Stadtbahn Station

This building represents the original home of the Stadtbahn of Vienna. It was the station for many years. The buildings above the ground are considered to be prime examples of an architectural style known as Jegendstil. As such, they are also considered part of the Vienna Secession, and used many of the classic styles associated with that important movement in design. They are part of the heritage of Otto Wagner to the city.

The Stadtbahn buildings are well known for their modern look, and particularly for their steel framework and marble outside walls. For the architectural world, it was the perfect melding of form and function.

The original station was opened to the general public in 1899. In 1981, the old line was converted to the newer UBahn rail system. Originally, plans were made to destroy the old Stadtbahn station. However, a cry of outrage from the people of Vienna saved the building. So, in order to make the buildings function in the new rail system, they were completely dismantled, and re-assembled on a structure that was 7 feet taller than before, so that they could still be used with the more modern UBahn rail system. Nowadays, one of these old Wagner buildings is used as a museum.
Sight description based on wikipedia
8
Secession Building

8) Secession Building (must see)

The Vienna Secession refers to a group of young artisans who decided to start their own movement within the world of art. The style is very 'nouveau' and is a radical departure from the more traditional types of art being created during that part of Viennese history. The famous 'new start' occurred in 1897, but Secessionism really took off at the beginning of the 20th century, when a fair bit of work from the group became part of the famous Belvedere Collection.

A building and exhibition hall designed by Joseph Olbrich was also established in 1897 as the 'headquarters' of the group. It is now the home for some of the most famous pieces of art from the movement's member such as Klimt and Frieze. The Viennese venue was actually chosen in 2004 to appear on the 100 euro coin, along with more information about the famous Secessionist group.

Why You Should Visit:
Interesting especially if you're a fan of Klimt, with the Beethoven Frieze as the biggest highlight – one of the architectural pieces you'll never forget!
The building's facade is quite stunning as well and you can see many tourists stand across the busy main road taking pictures.

Tip:
The audio guide is very useful here; much easier to sit and listen as you look at each section than having to read explanatory notes.

Opening Hours:
Tue-Sun: 10am-6pm
Sight description based on wikipedia
9
Majolica House

9) Majolica House (must see)

The so-called Majolica house is the inspiration of the legendary architect and designer Otto Wagner. The building is located at Linke Wienzeile 38 and number 40. Wagner designed the complex during his secessionist phase of design. The name of the building derives from the tile flower patterns on the outside façade which embellish the place with beautiful shades of green, blue and pink. No. 38 is offset in a golden color, and is adorned in medallions, designed to complement the flowers on the other side.

Wagner made this new style of architecture famous for its simple, yet elegant design. Exterior walls were left smooth and flat, and windows typically became less ordained than in previous Viennese styles of architecture. The simple, clean look was meant, in some fashion, to be representative of how clean and simple the apartment complexes were on the inside of the building.

The structures were built in the year 1899. At the time, Wagner was studying in the more formal style in Vienna. In fact, his commission to do this early work was made possible by members of a local guild of classical designers. Wagner ended up turning that world upside down when he made the decision to do the building design in this more modern style. It would end up being his hallmark throughout his entire design career.

Walking Tours in Vienna, Austria

Create Your Own Walk in Vienna

Create Your Own Walk in Vienna

Creating your own self-guided walk in Vienna is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Old Town Center Walking Tour

Old Town Center Walking Tour

The Innere Stadt, first district of Vienna, is part of the World Heritage Site Historic Centre of the city. Originally the inner city was divided into four quarters, which were designated after important town gates. Take this tour to explore the beautiful landmarks, famous museums and specialty shops in the Central area of the Innere Stadt.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.2 Km or 1.4 Miles
Old Town East Walking Tour

Old Town East Walking Tour

The Innere Stadt, first district of Vienna, is part of the World Heritage Site Historic Centre of the city. Originally the inner city was divided into four quarters, which were designated after important town gates. Take this tour to explore the beautiful landmarks, art galleries and shops in the East area of the Innere Stadt.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.2 Km or 1.4 Miles
Alsergrund & Josefstadt Tour

Alsergrund & Josefstadt Tour

Alsergrund, the ninth district of Vienna, is associated with many notable names of Viennese art and science. It is the birthplace of Romantic composer Franz Schubert. Ludwig van Beethoven died here in his apartment at Schwarzspanierstraße 15. Berggasse 19 is the former residence and office of Sigmund Freud.

Josefstadt is the smallest district in Vienna. Most mayors of Vienna have lived here,...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.8 Km or 1.7 Miles
Hofburg Sights Walking Tour

Hofburg Sights Walking Tour

The Hofburg area has been the seat of Austrian government since 1279 for a sequence of empires and republics. Throughout centuries, it has been expanded to include various institutions, such as The Imperial Chapel, The Naturhistorisches Museum and Kunsthistorisches Museum, The Austrian National Library and more. The area is also home to the former imperial palace, which now forms part of the...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.4 Km or 1.5 Miles
Old Town Souvenir Shops

Old Town Souvenir Shops

It would be a pity to leave Vienna without having explored its specialty shops and bringing home something truly original. We've compiled a list of gifts and souvenirs, which are unique to Vienna, that a visitor might like to purchase to reflect their visit.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.2 Km or 1.4 Miles
Old Town Chocolate Stores

Old Town Chocolate Stores

Vienna is famous for its mouth-watering confections. In its specialty shops and boutiques, usually located on the ground floors of historic buildings, you will find the best roasted coffee, high quality chocolates, sweets, wafers, cocoa and, of course, Mozartkugels. Don’t hesitate to visit the wonderful specialty shops in the Old Town featured in this guide.

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.0 Km or 1.2 Miles

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