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Rebel Modernists: Viennese Architecture Since Otto Wagner

Rebel Modernists: Viennese Architecture Since Otto Wagner

By Liane Lefaivre

Set within the fascinating cultural and political world of Vienna from the fin de siècle to the present day, this book provides an insightful analysis of the city's extraordinarily rich architectural tradition. Since 1900, Vienna has produced many great architects and their work includes some of the finest masterpieces of the twentieth century such as Otto Wagner’s Stadtbahn stations, his Postsparkasse and his Majolica House, Adolf Loos’s American Bar and Goldman & Salastch, the Secession building by Joseph Maria Olbrich, and Josef Hoffmann’s Palais Stoclet, not to mention Ludwig Wittgenstein’s House for his sister. Beginning with Wagner’s polemical manifesto, Moderne Architektur, it stresses the importance of the fraught and highly polarized cultural politics that engulfed Vienna for most of the twentieth century and ultimately produced much of what is modern in every field of culture and science. It shows how leading cultural figures such as Freud, Mahler, Schoenberg, Klimt and Twain encouraged a ‘rebellious’ architecture, which continued in later eras with the Wiener Gruppe, amongst others. The book also places architectural history within the context of the political economy that has shaped Vienna and highlights the relatively unknown tradition of Viennese social housing, initiated by social democratic Red Vienna in the 1920s. Today, 60% of Vienna’s population lives in the most successful social housing in the world, which has proved to be an important factor in stimulating the highly successful economy of the country as a whole.

Hardcover
336 pages
7.8 x 1.3 x 10 inches
Lund Humphries (July 1, 2017)
ISBN 9781848222052

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