Otto Wagner – Austrian Architect – (1841-1918)


The Austrian architect, designer and art theorist Otto Wagner was one of the most distinguished artist in Vienna at the turn of the century from the 19th to the 20th. A highly influential figure in the development of Modern Architecture.

Info source: www.wagner-otto.com

Otto Koloman Wagner was born in Vienna, Austria, on July 13, 1841. In 1894 Wagner was appointed professor of architecture at the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts.


In his remarkable inaugural lecture, Wagner, declared himself in favor of a Modern Architecture in response to modern needs and condemned all stylistic imitation as false and inappropriate. This inaugural lecture, which epitomized Wagner‘s philosophy of architecture and design, was published in the following year as a book under the title Moderne Architektur.

Info source: biography.yourdictionary.com

Among his students were the renowned Art Nouveau architects Joseph Maria Olbrich and Josef Hoffmann.

Info source: www.senses-artnouveau.com

In 1897, he joined Gustav Klimt, Joseph Maria Olbrich, Josef Hoffmann and Koloman Moser shortly after they founded the “Vienna Secession” artistic group. From the ideas of this group he developed a style that included symbolic references to the new forms of modernity.

Info source: en.wikipedia.org

What are the major works of Otto Koloman Wagner?
  • Rumbach Street synagogue, Budapest (1872)
  • Nussdorf weir and lock, Vienna (1894);
  • Viennese Wiener Stadtbahn, metropolitan railway system, e.g. Karlsplatz Stadtbahn Station;
  • Majolica House (Majolikahaus), Vienna (1898–1899);
  • Postal Office Savings Bank Building, Vienna (1894–1902);
  • Kirche am Steinhof, Vienna (1903–1907).

Info source: en.wikipedia.org

Otto Wagner‘s most important works of architecture and urban planning include laying out the Viennese urban railway (1892-1901) with viaducts, bridges, and more than thirty stops as well as the am Steinhof church (1902-07).

otto-wagner-pavillon_110606
Karlsplatz Stadtbahn Station, 1892-1901, O. Wagner

Image source: lasottilelineadombrablog.wordpress.com

The building he designed as the Austrian Postsparkasse (1904-06) is regarded as Otto Wagner‘s masterpiece, both aesthetically and technically.

Wien_-_Österreichische_Postsparkasse,_Georg-Coch-Platz
Main facade of the Österreichische Postsparkasse, 1904-1906, O. Wagner

Image source: en.wikipedia.org

O. Wagner conceived this building as a total work of art, using not only the newest materials such as reinforced concrete and aluminium, he also designed the entire interior, which reveals early functionalist tendencies and used new methods of furniture-making.

Info source: www.wagner-otto.com

For more references, please also visit: www.jbdesign.it

Leave a Reply