Otto Wagner (1841-1918)

Austrian architect and designer Otto Wagner was one of the most prominent artists in Vienna at the turn of the 20th century.

Otto Wagner photo: profile in black and white
Portrait of Otto Wagner

Image source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Otto_Wagner#/media/File:Otto_Wagner_photo2_retouched.jpg

About His Life

Otto Koloman Wagner was born on July 13, 1841, in Vienna, Austria. In 1894, Wagner was appointed professor of architecture at the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts. Among his students were Art Nouveau architects Joseph Maria Olbrich and Josef Hoffmann. In his unusual inaugural lecture, he stated that he advocated for modern architecture in response to contemporary needs, and condemned stylistic imitation as inappropriate falsities. Additionally, his introductory lecture, embodied Wagner’s philosophy of architecture and design, was published as a book titled “Moderne Architektur,” the following year.

Then, in 1897, he joined Gustav Klimt, Joseph Maria Olbrich, Josef Hoffmann, and Koloman Moser after founding the “Vienna Secession” art group. The ideas of this group, helped Wagner develop a style that symbolically referenced new forms of modernity.

by Otto Wagner- Karlsplatz Station, 1898-99
Karlsplatz Station (1898-99) by Otto Wagner

Image source: https://search.creativecommons.org/photos/0b627428-4b84-4075-8d84-fcd14ae9d506 by roryrory

Otto Wagner - apartments on Vienna's linke Wienzeile, along the Naschmarkt.-Vienna
Apartments on Vienna’s linke Wienzeile designed by Wagner

Image source: https://search.creativecommons.org/photos/da6685af-8f63-44fe-87a6-ddb8d77a98a4 by Ethan Prater

Major Works

  • Rumbach Street synagogue (1872): located in Budapest
  • Nussdorf weir and lock (1894): located in Vienna
  • Majolica House (1898–1899): located in Vienna
Majolica House (Majolikahaus), Vienna-1898-99
Majolica House in Vienna

Image source: https://search.creativecommons.org/photos/792542d7-81cb-4999-a03b-69d4c0d18ab4 by roryrory

Majolica House close up photo, which showcases the elaborate floral designs along the side of the structure.
Majolica House close up photo

Image source: https://search.creativecommons.org/photos/ca335da4-bc19-4971-a6d9-a3030e5a6681 by piotr ilowiecki

  • Postal Office Savings Bank Building (1894–1902): located in Vienna
  • Kirche am Steinhof (1903–1907): located in Vienna
  • Kirche am Steinhof
  • Viennese Wiener Stadtbahn: a metropolitan railway system
Kirche am Steinhof (Otto Wagner, 1907): Photo of a structure with a gold-dome roof and white walls.
Kirche am Steinhof (1907) by Otto Wagner

Image source: https://search.creativecommons.org/photos/43842bab-793b-4bee-9902-ff03f2ea7564 by liakada-web

Main facade of the Österreichische Postsparkasse (P.S.K.) building in Vienna
Main facade of the Österreichische Postsparkasse (P.S.K.) building in Vienna

Image source: https://search.creativecommons.org/photos/ab0425d9-4cdd-45c1-a5e3-70a402455188 by roryrory

The Austrian Postsparkasse (1904-06) that Wagner designed is often called his masterpiece, both aesthetically and technically. In addition, he conceived this building as a work of art, using not only the newest materials such as reinforced concrete and aluminum. Also, he designed the entire interior, which reveals his early functionalist tendencies and new methods of furniture-making.

Postsparkasse - The innovative interiors of Otto Wagner’s early-20th-century Austrian Postal Savings Bank (Österreichische Postsparkasse)
Postsparkasse by Otto Wagner

Image source: https://search.creativecommons.org/photos/c89748ab-b7fa-4f7a-b7ed-bae99673a6b3 by Thomas Ledl


Info sources:

www.war-otto.com

en.wikipedia.org

biography.yourdictionary.com

 www.senses-artnouveau.com

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