17 February 2006

Quick stop – Vienna

I had exactly five hours (excluding my flight transfer time) in the city of Vienna yesterday en route home to Dubai. So what can you see in five hours in a city you’ve never been to before?

Though I knew that it was impossible I wanted to see everything, at least everything in the city centre of touristy interest. Armed with a few tourist maps and an architectural guide map from the tourist information counter at the airport.

On my way to the city centre from the airport (20 minutes bus ride) I marked out a race route through the city centre including as many as possible Architectural projects. Though in practise I had to skip a few buildings so that I could squeeze in some amazing Museums and Art works by famous Austrian Artists – Gustav Klimt and Egon Schiele.

And this is the only project I was sure that I wanted to see in
Vienna since I planned to stop there for 5 hours. The crazy Roof top office project by the Viennesean architects Coop Himmelblau.

Though I was always sure that I couldn’t get to see it from the inside I am not complaining. To see it from far below on the street level was great enough. Check out some interior snaps at the Architects website - http://www.coop-himmelblau.at

Although I was sure that I wanted to see the above project by Coop Himmelblau; how could I leave Vienna being an Architect and not seeing any works by the man who coined some great phrases like ‘Ornamentation is crime’ and ‘Form follows function’ – Adolf Loos

I could only squeeze in two of his projects (sadly that too from the outside), The American Bar and the Looshaus at Michaelerplatz.

This building by Hans Hollein from the mid 80’s created waves in Architecture for it’s response to its strong historical context in the heart of Vienna.

See more from Vienna - Here


Anonymous said...

the loos projects look alarmingly ordinary to me... i beg you pardon of course being a philistine bourgeois. no doubt it is a very refined concept :)

sahil.latheef said...

If you are just looking at the aesthetic value then yes - I have to admit that I agree with you.
But exactly as you have noted it surely was a refined concept at the time that it was designed. Adolf Loos was one of the pioneers of the movement in Architecture that first explored against the 'Ornament', to be more precise he explained it as 'Ornamentation is Crime'.

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