I was an exchange student to Switzerland in 1994, and my first host “mom,” Esther Sterchi-Wyss, loved the architect Hundertwasser. I arrived at her home never having heard of the designer despite having more than six years of university-level architecture education.
Hundertwasser, you see, is self-made. A craftsman-turned-architect. His work wasn’t taught in modernist schools of architecture at the time, but he had certainly hit a chord with Esther, who had postcards and posters of his vibrant buildings posted in her Ferenberg kitchen.
It’s a bit odd not to have heard of him, as his work is in the same realm as Barcelona’s Gaudi, whose work I’d made pilgrimages to visit. Nevertheless, I had not.
While I was in Vienna this past February for the 2019 MCAA-General Assembly, I had the chance to visit three Hunderwasser creations.
It was just a brief encounter, but I enjoyed the joy and playfulness I found. And I finally understood Esther’s fascination. I hope you’ll enjoy seeing some of the images I collected during my brief visit.
Sites where you can see Hundertwasser’s work
Apartment block in Vienna
During my February trip to Vienna for the MCAA General Assembly, I had the chance to look around the city center as well as some sectors not far from the center.
Vienna is an architect’s dreamland, full of beautiful spaces and artifacts old and new. In fact, the architect/urbanist/painter/historian Camillo Sitte documented many of the world’s most successful plazas in his quest to define what makes a public space beautiful. Many of his favorites plazas are located in Vienna. I often referenced his book “The Art of Building Cities”, published in 1945, when I was an architecture student and later an architecture professor.
Although I actually only had six hours to explore Vienna after the Assembly concluded, I took in plenty of sites. Below, I’ve posted my slide shows of spectacular architecture.
The slide shows start in Alservorstadt, with the Votive Church (Votivkirche), Hotel Regina, and University of Vienna. The slides proceed downtown and show visits to two more churches (Stephansdom and Der Graben), concluding with the Globe Museum. In other posts, I share photos from Hundertwasser and Otto Wagner ‘s Austria Post Headquarters or “Osterr Postparkasse” (blog forthcoming).
Votive Church (Votivkirche)
The University of Vienna
Vienna City Center
This year, for the first time, I attended the Marie Curie Alumni Association (MCAA) General Assembly. It was held at the University of Vienna at the end of February. I represented the newly founded Irish chapter. I’m also a member of the UK chapter, having served as a Marie Curie Research Fellow in both the UK and Ireland.
This was a great opportunity to learn about research other people are doing around the continent and meet researchers from all over the world. I have a new understanding of the slogan “Researchers on the Move” and I see how truly dynamic are the researchers who travel from country to country to help answer questions and solve problems. We learned support for researchers and we got to discuss the challenges and joys of being traveling researchers.
Today, I’m working with a prospective MSCA fellow to craft his application, and I’m using what I learned at the General Assembly. I’m encouraging him to attend if he’s selected as a grant recipient because its a great way to connect with resources and the research of others.
I’ve attached some photos of 2019 events and some of the Tweets I posted during the General Assembly.