The First World War brought the end of the Austro-Hungarian Empire (1918), and in 1919 - already in the Austrian Republic - the Social Democrat Jacob Royman became the burgomaster of Vienna. The “leftists” remained in power in the capital until 1933, when a political coup took place in the country; in 1934 the Austrofascist dictatorship (the so-called Estates State) was finally established, and in 1938 Austria was absorbed by Nazi Germany. However, these turns of history could not erase the achievements of "Red Vienna".
Along with reforms in education and health care, the municipality began an extensive program of affordable housing in 1923 to replace the closets in cheap apartment buildings, slums and barracks with bright, dry apartments with running water and sewerage. A well-developed infrastructure was attached to the housing: the complexes included kindergartens, baths, laundries, antenatal clinics and clinics, gyms, libraries, etc. In 1933, 200,000 townspeople had already settled in the affordable housing of "Red Vienna", and these were not "budget" buildings at all, but attractive green ensembles, thoughtfully designed, most often by the students of Otto Wagner, decorated with monumental sculpture and reliefs and named after wonderful people, usually - socialist or similar beliefs.
Often, such complexes with monumental architecture and no less monumental dimensions (along with smaller ones, arrays of 1000 or more apartments were built) were supposed to express the pathos of a new, free and conscious life of the working class, its strength and potential. But they evoked comparison not only with palaces, but also with fortresses: the "rightists" even suspected that in these residential "citadels" were arranged weapons depots for the militarized subdivision of the Social Democratic Party,
Republican Schutzbund. The fantasies of the political opponents of "Red Vienna" were tragically confirmed in February 1934, when, during a short uprising, and in fact - a civil war, supporters of the "left" parties defended themselves from the police, the army and the Heimver - the Austro-fascist military-political association - in these residential complexes, in fact, not intended and not adapted for the conduct of hostilities.
The uprising was quickly suppressed, but by the late 1940s, when the initial housing shortage was exacerbated by the devastation of World War II, the Viennese authorities reverted to 1920s housing ideas. High-quality municipal housing, including social housing, is of great value for the residents and management of the Austrian capital at the beginning of the 21st century. About half a million people of all ages, income levels and occupations live in about 220,000 rented apartments owned by the city, and among more than two thousand "Hemaindebouws" - municipal houses - there are many buildings of the "Red Vienna" era.
Architect Josef Frank
Wiederhoferhof, one of the earliest complexes of "Red Vienna", was designed by a consistent critic of the architectural part of its housing program. Josef Frank considered the scale and monumentality of her houses not at all the best properties for residential development and later demonstrated his approach to the issue in the project of the Verkbunda village - a low-rise green area, which Archi.ru
recently posted in detail with photographs by Denis Esakov.
The Wiederhoferhof received smooth facades, the main entrances to the courtyard with glazed stair towers are marked with loggias. The walls of the house were, as Frank liked, bright - red-orange, and contrasted with the cream platbands and other details: because of the cheerful color, the complex was nicknamed "Paprikahof", that is, "the courtyard of the pepper", or "Paprikakiste", "a box of pepper ". A restrained, almost classic look - a tribute to the surroundings, dense buildings of the 19th century. As in other objects of "Red Vienna", in Wiederhoferhof there was an infrastructure: baths, various shops and workshops. In 1953, the complex was built on one floor and received a gable roof instead of a flat one.
Architects Heinrich Schmid and Hermann Eichinger
Rabenhof is one of the largest Hemaindebouws in Vienna, but its authors, Schmid and Eichinger, although they were students of Otto Wagner, were not guided by this master's ideas about a regular, detailed plan followed by many of their colleagues in the Red Vienna projects. The land for the complex was bought out gradually, so the construction proceeded in turns, and the plots differed in relief height. As a result, the complex turned out to be very diverse and even "organic": multi-level courtyards connect pointed arches and stairs, clinker decor reminds of Art Deco and Expressionism, balconies serve as spectacular decorative accents.
The complex housed 38 infrastructure facilities (shops, laundries, a kindergarten, a library, etc.), a bronze "Dancer" by sculptor Otto Hofner (1930), as well as an assembly hall for residents, which was turned into a cinema in 1934, and since 1990 it has accommodated theater "am Rabenhof". Like all similar buildings, the residential complex was restored and underwent a major overhaul, during which 66 elevators were added in 1987 according to the designs of four different architects who had previously won the corresponding competition.
In the February uprising of 1934, this massif was besieged by army units, and fighting broke out there. The fate of the architects, on the contrary, after the change of power was successful: they became the authors of the Vienna “Radio House” and a number of other propaganda buildings of the “Estates State”.
Architect Karl En
Karl-Marx-Hof is the most famous building of the "Red Vienna" and one of the key attractions of the city. In his project, the architectural features of such housing for workers were most clearly manifested, including the influence of Otto Wagner. The facade is more than a kilometer long, huge courtyards with gardens, squares and paths, where the loggias of all apartments opened, a total area of 156 thousand m2, and most importantly - the monumental solution of the central part with towers, flagpoles, semicircular arches of aisles: all this amazes the imagination even now, and at the moment of opening it was supposed to become an exemplary space for a new happy life of the working class.
The complex, which also carries the influence of the Amsterdam school, does not seem monotonous thanks to the thoughtful division, rhythm and color of the facades.
A bronze "Sower" by Otto Hofner is installed in the front yard, which years later, in 1947-1961, decorated a coin of one Austrian shilling: this allows us to judge the continuing influence of Karl-Marx-Hof on society. Four ceramic allegorical figures of Joseph Franz Riedl were placed on the walls: "Protection of Children", "Liberation", "Physical Education", "Enlightenment". The diverse infrastructure included a dental clinic, post office and laundries, one of which is now
a museum was opened.
The ideological and ideological significance of the Karl-Marx-Hof made it in the eyes of the "right" the main fortress of the socialists, and indeed, in February 1934, many Schutzbund fighters and workers held the defense there. The soldiers, policemen and Heimver besieging them used artillery, the shelling continued from 12 to 15 February, when Karl-Marx-Hof fell.
After the establishment of the Austro-fascist dictatorship, the complex was renamed Biederman-Hof, in honor of the commander-in-chief of the Heimver Karl Biederman, who, at the same time,during World War II he became a member of the Army Resistance against the Nazis and one of the leaders of Operation Radetzky.
School of the Convent of the Heart of Christ
Architect Franz Angelo Pollack
"Krasnaya Vienna" did not include a religious component in its program: if churches appeared in its residential areas, then after 1934. However, the building of the school of the Monastery of the Heart of Christ is associated with the "municipal" architecture not only chronologically, but also formally. It stands on a sharp corner between Landstrasser-Hauptstrasse and Rabengasse and marks them with its staircase tower. His bold, forward and upward image is a reflection of the spirit of the times, which also touched Catholic education. The building housed a kindergarten of the Montessori system with a playground on the roof of the assembly hall (now a cinema) and a secondary school, and along with the school of home economics there was a gym.
Architect Rudolf Perko
Perko, another student of Otto Wagner, designed the second-largest residential area of "Red Vienna" (after the much more modest in architecture
Sandleitenhof with 1587 apartments). As in Karl-Marx-Hof, the central block with "pylons", huge flagpoles, projections and a ceremonial courtyard plays the main role here; balconies and cornices underline the monumentality of the buildings of this “ideal city”. Rudolf Perko's ability to work on a large scale and express pathos and strength in architecture came in handy for the Nazis: after the change of regime, he participated in the project of the reconstruction of the Austrian capital "Big Vienna" conceived by Hitler.
Initially, it was planned to build 2,300 apartments in the complex, but to save money, the size of the project had to be reduced, as well as to abandon the planned 25-meter Atlantes at the main entrance. However, the exquisite lattices of balconies and gates, stone nude "Walking" and "Walking" by sculptor Karl Stemolak (1932), reliefs with mosaic backgrounds "Fishing" and "Hunting" remained.
Friedrich-Engels-Platz-Hof was considered an important stronghold of the Schutzbund, but in February 1934 he found no defenders, and he immediately passed into the hands of the authorities. In April 1945, the massif became the site of fierce fighting due to its strategic location at the Floridsdorfer Bridge.
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Residential complex at Durauergasse and Liebknehtgasse
Architects Karl Perutka, Franz Weiss, Heinrich Reitstetter
The post-war campaign to rebuild and expand Vienna's housing stock was also initiated by the Social Democrats. In 1952, under the burgomaster Franz Jonas, the Social Urban Development program was launched, which involved the division of labor application areas and residential areas, reconstruction of existing residential areas, including resettlement of overpopulated areas of the city. The minimum floor space for new apartments was increased from 42 to 55 m2, and all of them now had to have bathrooms.
The residential complex on Durauergas is an example of the development of the ideas of "Red Vienna" already in new historical circumstances. A restrained formal language is combined in it with increased comfort of the layout; an important role is played by a spacious green area divided into functional areas in the center of the quarter. Later, elevators were added to the complex, and its current bright color was created by the architect Vera Korab in 2005.
In 1949, the rule "Art in construction" was introduced in Vienna, which implied the obligatory allocation of a small share of the budget of a municipal house for its decoration. The building on Liebknechtgas received two ceramic reliefs by Eduard Robichko, a student of Fritz Wotruba. This is "Work" and a much rarer plot for the decor of social housing - "Weekend": here you can see one of the first examples of the use of the theme of leisure and the only one - in combination with "Work".
In the following decades, Viennese municipal housing finally moved away from the political expression of "Red Vienna", although large-scale complexes sometimes appeared. But it was precisely the "left" authorities in the 1920s that laid the foundations for an affordable and high-quality municipal housing stock, where every fourth inhabitant of the Austrian capital lives today.