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Posted by on Jan 8, 2017 | 126 comments

Hundertwasserhaus: Explosion of Color in Vienna


This post explores the Hundertwasserhaus, one of Vienna’s most visited buildings and the life of its designer and creator, Friedensreich Hundertwasser.


If you have seen the photos on this blog or on my Instagram account, one thing is going to strike you right away.  I like color. Well, I like color a lot!

Keeping that in mind, you can imagine how hard headed I got when I found pictures of a colorful apartment house while researching my trip to Vienna.  The structure had a multi-color facade, shiny mosaics and fairy tale like balconies.  I had to see it!

Months after that, I found myself outside of a Metro station in the Landstrabe District.  I had no idea where to go.  Let’s say this house is a little bit in the middle of nowhere.  A kind local took pity on me and showed me what direction to take. After that, I was able to arrive using my map.

Finally, I was in front of that colorful place I wanted to see. Its official name is Hundertwasserhaus.



Hundertwasserhaus was built between 1983 and 1985 according to the ideas of Friedensreich Hundertwasser (hence the name) with architect Joseph Krawina as a co-author.

Hundertwasserhaus, Vienna, Austria

Hundertwasserhaus, Vienna, Austria

It features undulating floors, a roof covered with earth and grass, and large trees growing from inside the rooms. Within the house there are 53 apartments, four offices, 16 private terraces and three communal terraces, and a total of 250 trees and bushes. The Hundertwasser House is one of Vienna’s most visited buildings and has become part of Austria’s cultural heritage.

Hundertwasserhaus, Vienna, Austria


A visit to the house is short since only the exterior can be admired.  The house is unique and whimsical.  To me, it is a piece of art that deserves attention. But, the highlight of my visit was discovering the genius of Hundertwasswer.  This guy was something else!

Hundertwasserhaus, Vienna, Austria

Hundertwasserhaus, Vienna, Austria

Hundertwasser was born as Friedrich Stowasser in Vienna (1928).  Later, he changed his name to Friedensreich Hundertwasser.  He is one of the 20th century’s most acclaimed international artists.

In the early 1950s, Hundertwasser dealt with architecture and pursued his goal of creating a more human architecture in harmony with nature.  In his manifestos, essays and demonstrations, he expressed his rejection of rationalism, the geometric straight line, the grid system and the purely functional architecture.

Hundertwasserhaus, Vienna, Austria

Hundertwasserhaus, Vienna, Austria

From the 1980s on, he realized projects which triggered worldwide attention and provoked vivid discussions.  He integrated the window right and the tree tenants, uneven floors, afforestation of the roofs and the spontaneous vegetation.

In his architectural efforts, he pursued diversity instead of monotony, replaced the grid system with an organic approach and implemented unregulated irregularities.  In times of mediocrity and the soullessness of prefabrication, Hundertwasser endeavored to help human longing for variety and harmony with nature.

Hundertwasserhaus, Vienna, Austria

Hundertwasserhaus, Vienna, Austria

What fascinates me is how Hundertwasser principles go beyond architecture.  He was basically saying human beings like change, color, variety, spontaneity, naturalness, fun, laugh and joy.  He wanted to express all those things with what he knew to do best.  His works call us to do the same (but using our own gifts and talents).

Hundertwasserhaus, Vienna, Austria

Hundertwasserhaus, Vienna, Austria

If you want to learn more about this artist, the Kunst Haus Wien, a museum dedicated to the life and legacy of Hundertwasser, is located only a few blocks away from the Hundertwasserhaus.  The exterior is very attention-grabbing too.

Kunst Haus Wien, Vienna, Austria

Kunst Haus Wien, Vienna, Austria

Kunst Haus Wien, Vienna, Austria

Also, the Hundertwasser village (located in front of Hundertwasserhaus) was designed by the artist.

Hundertwasser Village, Vienna, Austria

Hundertwasser Village, Vienna, Austria

Hundertwasser Village, Vienna, Austria

His other work in Vienna is a heating plant.  We saw it when exiting Vienna towards the Czech Republic.


Fellow blogger Lorelei has written about Hundertwasser’s building in Abensberg, Germany.  Read her story here.

A complete list of his buildings can be found in here.

Have you visited Hundertwasserhaus or another of his buildings?

Ready to pin? Let’s do this!



  1. I have not visited a Hundertwasser building but I have visited a toilet he designed in Kawakawa New Zealand.

    • I read about that. I assume that is super interesting (just thinking about how he would redesign the toilet would be cool).

  2. This is an awesome post. This is right up my alley and when or if I go to Vienna I’d definitely have to go there.

    • Thanks a lot! I am glad you enjoyed this place. I excited when other like the places I visit.

  3. I did not know about Hundertwasser until we left Europe. I was so bummed when I found out about it. That’s why I love visiting your site, you always take me to places I want to go, or places I wish I had gone. 😀

    Lisa @ Life Thru the Lens

    • I am glad this site serves you a purpose. Hope you can visit one of Hundertwasser’s buildings in the future.

  4. Really sorry I missed seeing this in Vienna so pleased I saw it here.

    • Well, that is a good excuse to make plans to go back to the city!

  5. Beautiful and very innovative colouring schemes.

    • It is true! the building is very innovative. Plus, I bet you there is still nothing like it.

  6. I can understand your quest to find this building. This is amazing, and not at all like the usual sites of Vienna from Pinterest! Thanks for sharing this fascinating place!
    Sharon recently posted..Bletchley Park and the Codebreakers of WWIIMy Profile

    • I am glad I was able to find this place since it kind of disrupts what the city is all about. This is like the other side of the city.

  7. Amazing! I love the colours of this house, and the different textures (tile in some places, etc.). The plants and vines really add to the building too. Thank you for sharing this interesting building!
    Bryna | Dotted Line Travels recently posted..Things I Ate: Florence EditionMy Profile

    • Bryna, it was my pleasure to share this building. You notice all the elements that make it different.

    • Thanks a lot for the compliment!

    • Glad you enjoyed them!

  8. Yes! I’ve visited it! I do remember being difficult to approach, but definitely worth it!

    • I am glad you made it there! You need to know where exactly to find it but I think the journey is worth it.

  9. I love these beautiful colored apartment buildings!
    Lovely city pictures!

    • Wow! I see you got very enthusiastic about this building. Hope you can visit one day.

    • Did you actually visited the house? I have to check your Vienna post.

    • Thanks Urska! Hope you can visit Vienna once again and see this building by yourself.

  10. Lovely post and photos! I often find myself looking for places just a bit off the beaten path and in the end it’s usually very worthwhile! #citytripping
    Hilary recently posted..Visiting The Anne Frank HouseMy Profile

    • Hilary, we are on the same page. I like to see the famous / iconic sites but to make things more interesting, I venture off to less known places.

  11. Wow! I’d love to see that someday. I love the way one design spills into another. No fences there.

    • It is interesting because this building is a tourist attraction but it is also the residence of many people. I wonder how much is the rent in here.

    • Well, you taught me something today because I didn’t know he was a painter too. I think I read about but didn’t pay a lot of attention. Looks like he expressed his ideas in many ways.

  12. At first sight, this house made me think of Antoni Gaudi’s architecture in Barcelona…but even Gaudi didn’t put this kind of immediate enthusiasm into his buildings.
    Thank you for this remarkable post!
    An Unfittie’s Guide to Adventurous Travel

    • Kay, thanks a lot for your words. This guy reminds me of Gaudi too. They had so different outlooks on life.

    • Thanks Gishi! The flowers added to the beauty of the building.

  13. You took some amazing photos! Thanks for the shout out about the Abensburg Hundertwasserturm! Its truly an awesome sight if you ever get the chance to visit it! #CityTripping

    • I am kind of obsessed with Hundertwasser now. I would like to visit some of his other buildings. He even designed a winery in Napa.

  14. Oh this really has stopped me in my tracks today – I love this! I was thinking how it reminded me of something else and then, when I clicked on your link to other buildings he had designed, came across the Hot Springs village. I remember seeing this hotel online years ago and thinking how fabulous it would be to stay there.
    I’m so pleased I now know more about the architect and his creations. Brilliant, thanks Ruth.
    Trish @ Mum’s Gone To recently posted..There’s more than just Magna Carta at Lincoln CastleMy Profile

    • I had to Google the village you mentioned and got to see how amazing it is. Would love to stay there! This guy was able to create pure magic.

  15. This is so cool! I loved seeing awesome architecture like this, and you did a great job photographing it! Adding this post to pinterest for later. 🙂

    • Great Mandy! I am a fan of architecture too. That is why I love Europe that much.

  16. I visited Hundertwasser Haus when I was 20 and interrailing around Europe. It’s so nice to read about it here, all these years later! I’m popping over from #citytripping but this post would also be perfect for my own #CulturedKids if you wanted to come over and play! Live on the blog now. x
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  17. This is just stunning – absolutely not what I’d expect from Vienna but with the kind of colour and quirkiness that makes me think of Barcelona. Someone to discover more about, for sure. #citytripping
    Cathy (Mummytravels) recently posted..City Tripping #59My Profile

    • You are not the first person who finds this place similar to Barcelona. Like that it is in Vienna but it does not fit the city’s stereotype.

  18. Hundertwasser was certainly an original thinker and a great artist judging by his building. I love the use of colour – reminds me of a patchwork quilt. Amazing building.

    • Like the comparison to the patchwork quilt. Who knows what Hundertwasser used for inspiration?

  19. Love, love, love the colors in this post. What a fun place it would be to live in, just walking up to it after a day at work would be a breath of fresh air!

    • Jackie, I am glad you liked it. I would have liked to enter one of the apartments.

  20. Am smiling,because this is not how I know Vienna, but who’s to say, it maybe another Eiffel tower, which in the days when it was built, the Parisians thought it was an ugly clunky structure.
    Excellent captures – thanks for hosting!

    • You are right Jesh! Maybe it wasn’t popular when it was created but I feel like the city embraces this place 100% nowadays.

  21. now, that was something special. Never heard of it before. I wonder what it looks link in the inside of the buildings. 🙂

    • I wanted to see the interior too. Wonder how livable it is to have undulating floors and plants covering surfaces.

  22. Oh I love it! It’s especially meaningful to me because we just recently stayed in a yurt and experienced how peaceful a circular dwelling can be, so I like to see this “rejection of the geometric straight line” so to speak. Great stuff. #citytripping

    • Totally get it! We are so used to certain conventions that sometimes we cannot think how something different can work.

  23. In addition the colorful and uniquely structured architecture, I love the green around the building. The vines on the side add a nice touch of authenticity.
    Brooke of Passport Couture recently posted..Fashion and Pantone 2017My Profile

    • I think that is the way Hundertwasser would have liked it. There has to be vegetation surrounding his works.

  24. You’re right it certainly is whimsical. I love colour too and I would make this a must see if I visited Vienna.

    • I know you will enjoy this place!

    • Well, you have to make it there one day! I wasn’t that interested to visit it but ended up loving it.

  25. Very cool! It reminds me of Goudi’s architecture in Barcelona.

    • It is true! There is some resemblance to Gaudi’s work.

  26. I wish I’d known about this when I was in Vienna! I love quirky architecture. It’s so colourful!

    • Glad you liked it! I some way, I like that this is not a so popular attraction in Vienna.

  27. I love all the colors! He seems like an interesting person. And he got it right. I think most of us do want more color and fun in our lives. #FlyAwayFriday
    Allison recently posted..Liebster Award NominationMy Profile

    • Allison, I agree with you. I think the use of colors is a great way to express your thoughts.

    • Yes, it is an apartment building. There is a terrace with a restaurant and on the lower floor there is a gift house with info about Hundertwasser.

    • Glad it left a good impression in you! It is a super nice structure to photograph.

  28. I’ve been in Vienna, but didn’t stay long enough to discover Hundertwasserhaus. It’s beautiful and very colorful indeed, thank you for sharing this post. I’m planning to return to Vienna this spring and I’ll make sure to visit it.

    • Oh so glad you are visiting soon! There are tons of things t do in the city!

  29. What a great post! I’m really glad I saw it. I hadn’t heard of Hundertwasser before (and unfortunately completely missed this building when I was in Vienna.) But I’m glad to have read about it here, and hopefully I’ll get to go back and see it someday!

    • Sorry for the double post, thought it didn’t go through 🙁

      • No problem! It happens some times!

    • Thanks Jessica! I hope you can go back to Vienna. The city has so many things to see. I need to go back too.

  30. Lovely post! I unfortunately completely missed this building when I was in Vienna. So glad I saw this post though, so now I know to look for it if I ever get to go back.
    Jessica recently posted..Whakarewarewa: The Living Maori VillageMy Profile

  31. I got a little lost looking for the Hundertwasserhaus too, but it was fun to visit! He definitely seems like an interesting guy! #FarawayFiles

    • I am glad I wasn’t the only one! Even with the map I got lost.

  32. That’s incredible! 😀 It’s so refreshing! 😀 How can that not brighten your day?

    • Oh Becky! So glad it brighten your day! Hope I can keep producing posts like this.

  33. I love this, Ruth, and despite it being the most visited place in Vienna, I never got round to seeing it on my visit so I’m particularly glad to read all about it here. This really reminds me of Gaudi and his vision for architecture in Barcelona. The Casa Batllo doesn’t have any straight lines either and is full of ravishing colours and shapes. Great post for #FarawayFiles

    • Clare, it is one of the most visited places not the most visited (not sure which one is that). I visited Casa Mila and it is similar to Casa Battlo. Thanks for your nice comment.

  34. It is a bizarre (but colorful) building isn’t it?!? After so long in Vienna, I finally went in October and realised I had been there once before the first time I was in Vienna over 10 years ago. It is a little removed from the city centre which can make it a little challenging. Great shots! #TheWeeklyPostcard

    • Thanks David! I am glad you revisited this place. I bet you have been able to visit many places interesting places in Vienna.

  35. Wild colors and architecture in the Hundertwasserhaus! I know it’s a long name, but it actually isn’t that difficult to pronounce if you know some German. If I had to spell it in English so non-German speakers could pronounce it properly, I think it would look something like: Hoondert Vasser House. Not so difficult, right? Anyway, the architecture is certainly unique, but it does remind me a bit of Gaudi’s Casa Mila in Barcelona. I’d like to see it in person whenever I visit Vienna, where I’ve wanted to travel for the past decade or so. Thanks for the itinerary idea, Ruth! #WeekendWanderlust

    • Erin, thanks for the pronunciation classes. It is easier to get it in the way you explain it.

    • Wow! Glad you are in Barcelona. I am sure Laurence it taking tons of photos. Yes, make sure to remember this places for when you make it to Vienna.

  36. Wow, such amazing arts. Have yet to visit hundertwasserhaus but this post gives a great recommendation. Have pinned for future reference.Thank you

    • Thanks a lot! Super excited about you liking it!

    • I wonder the same thing! It would be nice to meet a resident (and know how they got in).

    • Great Lyn! The third one is the charm, so, get prepared to stop by!

  37. Wow! This place is absolutely added to my bucket list. I’m with you I love colour too. I had no idea places like this even existed in Vienna. Thank you for sharing! #FlyAwayFriday

    • I am happy to contribute to your bucket list! Hope I can be adding places in the future.

  38. I’d never hear of Hunderwasser until my daughter’s kindergarten class made Hundertwasser houses out of shoe boxes for an art project. it was fun and pretty easy for the kids to copy his style. So now it would be nice to see the real thing. The village is also interesting. some of the mosaics remind me of Klimt Paintings.

    • I can’t believe the school taught about him and his style. But, now that I think about it, it makes sense. I am sure kids can understand better his designs than adults.

  39. Love these colours of Hundertwasserhaus. Am pinning this ..because it is fabulous

    • Thanks Paula! You are so sweet!

    • I am into that too. That is why I had to visit this building when I discovered it.

  40. Loved this post Ruth. What a fascinating insight into the architect and the principles behind his designs. The end result looks to be inspired by Gaudi’s work in Barcelona to me. Thanks for sharing with us on #FarawayFiles

    • This is one of the reasons why I love to travel. You get the opportunity to learn about great artists and architects. Plus, you get to see their works.

  41. What a fascinating artist! There is something reminiscent of Gaudi in his work and the colour and design is not something I would associate with Vienna. Another reason to visit. Thanks for the information and sharing on #citytripping

    • You are right. The colors in Vienna’s Old Town are very uniform. They are nothing like this. But, that means there is another face of the city that we do not necessarily know.

  42. Oooo…. I love this! Now you’ve made me push Vienna way up my bucket list, right along with Barcelona (which I’ve been wanting to visit because of Gaudi). This does look rather Gaudi-inspired, but yet there’s a modern touch to it. Really cool! #CityTripping
    Bumble Bee Mum recently posted..Kidzania Singapore Discounted Tickets – Where to get themMy Profile

    • Glad you liked it! It would be nice to stop by Barcelona and Vienna. But, I think that would be two trips (because there is a lot to see around those two cities).

  43. Oh I love this! I did know you love color – I loved the mural project post from Deep Ellum in Dallas. I would love to see this. I think is so cool to get people to look at things in different ways. Wouldn’t it be to come home to this house everyday! Thanks for sharing, I had never seen or heard about this. #FarawayFiles

    • Erin, it would be very nice to live in a place like this. I am from Puerto Rico and in there houses are painted in bright colors. So, I used to get that vibrant feeling when looking at my neighborhood.

  44. This is very interesting post. Love these colours and form of Hundertwasserhaus.

    • Thanks! I am glad you found this post interesting.

    • No problem! It is great to share places like this.

  45. I can see why you wanted to visit this building. I love the colors and the overall uniqueness that he built into it. Thanks for co-hosting and sorry that I am late commenting. #TPThursday

    • Nancie, thanks for stopping by and thanks for the nice comment. Love to co-host on #TPThursday.

  46. This is so neat! I love unique, colorful buildings like this one. I don’t blame you for seeking it out even if it was in the middle of nowhere. I would have done the exact same thing. How cool would it be to go inside that building everyday. It’d make me happy even in the middle of winter. I have never heard of Hundertwasser but what an interesting artist.
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  47. Wow I do not blame you for snapping a ton of photos, I would have too! The colors of those buildings are so vibrant, love it! Thanks for joining Fly Away Friday, hope to see you again this weekend! xo

  48. wow this place is so cool!! It looks like something you’d find in Barcelona!! so cool!!

  49. And here I thought that Vienna was only for Mozart and Secession nuts. Great discovery! Makes me want to re-visit Vienna with a fresh eye. Thanks for the post:)

  50. We first discovered & visited Hundertwasserhaus about fifteen years ago. We were in Vienna in December to visit the fantastic Christmas markets and decided to swing by thinking we could get a few great photos to put on Instagram.

    We were rather disappointed to see that the building looks really dull and faded – it looks like it hasn’t been painted anytime since our last visit. When we first visited it was really colourful, bold & beautiful, so hope it gets a fresh coat of paint soon.
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