Vienna is the capital and largest city of Austria, and one of the nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria’s primary city, with a population of about 1.757 million (2.4 million within the metropolitan area, more than 20% of Austria’s population), and is by far the largest city in Austria, as well as its cultural, economic, and political centre. It is the 9th-largest city by population within city limits in the European Union.
Starting in the 1960s, Viennese post-war architecture has set new accents in the city. In the 1980s and 1990s, revolutionary residential buildings were proposed. And in the first decade of the 21st century, new architectural landmarks arose in Vienna, such as the MuseumsQuartier and Danube City.
In the 1960s, the visionary designs of architects and artists caused great excitement and were known as the “Austrian Phenomenon”. However, most of the revolutionary ideas of Hans Hollein and Coop Himmelb(l)au remained just projects and installations. Implementation was limited to businesses or pubs, such as Hollein’s flagship store “Retti” on Kohlmarkt. Hollein, inspired by the moon landing, implemented his vision of a space capsule on an area of just 14 square meters.
In the 1980s, new housing developments and residential buildings were built – often in the post-modern style. In the middle of the 1980s, Vienna had a true architecture scandal: Hans Hollein’s design for a modern, glass building across from the time-honored St. Stephen’s Cathedral caused a furor. The Haas House was built nonetheless (and opened in 1990), and contemporary architecture in Vienna thus drew increased attention. Another contributing factor this was a roof extension by Coop Himmelb(l)au, completed in 1988 in the first district (Falkestraße) and known about beyond the borders of Austria.
Friedrich Hundertwasser also generated excitement; he created his best-known buildings in Vienna in the 1980s: the Hundertwasser House, Vienna’s most bizarre apartment building, and the Kunst Haus Wien as well as the Spittelau garbage incinerator facility. For all of his buildings, Hundertwasser demanded creative freedom and harmony with nature. Sooner laughed at by architects, his colorful designs are very popular with the Viennese and tourists alike.