It´s been some time since the Open House Wien weekend but there is still one building left: The Hochhaus Herrengasse! It´s a building I´ve known my whole life and probably dreamt about visiting it for most of the time. I wondered how it looked and how amazing the view must be.
To be honest seen from Herrengasse it doesn´t look that spectacular and one wouldn´t see the real hight of it. To built a high-rise-buliding which doesn´t look like one may have been a typical austrian compromise. On its highest point there are 16 stories and it´s 52 metres high. Have a look at the mock-up:
Viennas very first high-rise-building was built in 1930/32 on the former area of the Palais Lichtenstein which had been demolished in 1913. Inside the Palais was the famous „Bösendorfer concert hall“, know for its amazing acoustics. The story goes people were crying and sobbing at last concert on May 2th 1913. Stefan Zweig even wrote about it in his memoirs:
„Als die letzten Takte Beethovens verklangen, vom Rosé-Quartett herrlicher als jemals gespielt, verließ keiner seinen Platz. Wir lärmten und applaudierten, einige Frauen schluchzten vor Erregung, niemand wollte es wahrhaben, dass es ein Abschied war. Man verlöschte im Saal die Lichter, um uns zu verjagen. Keiner von den vier- oder fünfhundert der Fanatiker wich von seinem Platz.“ Stefan Zweig „Die Welt von Gestern“
World War I stopped the plans to built a hotel on this site, it remained a vacant lot until 1930. It not only was the first high-rise-building, it was also a first to design apartments for mostly singles from 20 square metres to 93 square metres.
It was this urban and modern charm that attracted artists and free spirits to life there, like the actors Oscar Werner, Curd Jürgens, Paula Wessely or the german writer Daniel Kehlmann.
Have a look at all these amazing historic pictures from Hochhaus Herrengasse! From the building site to the apartments!