Vienna is a gray-white city, lacking the warmth and variety of Prague and Krakow. The regular, symmetrical architecture of the Habsburg era was challenged at the end of the 19th century by secessionist architects like Otto Wagner, but their predominantly white buildings were planned as rectilinear blocks too.
So the wild, colorful forms of Friedensreich Hundertwasser appear extraordinary in the Viennese cityscape. At first sight they may recall the work of Antonio Gaudi in Barcelona, for some of the surfaces are covered with ceramic tiles; but they do not possess the underlying structural order on which Gaudi insisted They are more anarchic, somewhat in the manner of Lucien Kroll. I wish I had had the opportunity to go inside and talk to some of the residents. I am sure that it embodies a different kind of community from those stolid Austro-Hungarian blocks or the serious worker housing of the thirties. It must be a fun place to live. I only hope that the roofs of the tall trees on the upper terraces and the vines on the walls don’t tear it apart.