Last weekend was “Open House” in Vienna, 70 private and public buildings across the city opened their doors to everyone. The perfect chance to snoop around! I had a lot of buildings on my to-do-list but only managed four, lucky for me they gonna do it again next year.
I choose some buidlings in my area, one of them was the “Österreichische Postsparkasse” (former “Imperial and Royal Postal Savings Bank”) build by Otto Wagner from 1904 to 1912. It´s an amazingly beautiful modernist buidling and considered Wagners first move away from Art Nouveau and Neoclassicism.
He was the only participant able to combine the vision of a new Postal Savings Bank with that of a new, modern architecture. It is an extremely rare event in the history of architecture to see a visionary task coincide with visionary architecture and client and architecture pursue the same contents and objectives.
The building has eight stories. It is built of brick and has reinforced concrete floors. The partition walls are non-load-bearing so that the spaces between them can be easily altered. Otto Wagner expounded on the expediency and sustainability of all elements of the construction. Everything was to be not expensive, durable, and easy to maintain, was to improve the functionality and guarantee a hygienic working environment.
Our guide seemed quite taken by Wagner practical approach and emphasized the use of linoleum, aluminium and the sheer number of rest- and cloakrooms. If I rembember correct there are about 200 toilets.
There was a strict seperation between the higher ranking staff members and the lower ones. The first one got a huge staircase…
…the other ones a little smaller one:
And the management even got carpet in stead of linoleum:
It´s possible to visit the Kassenhalle and the museum from monday to friday (10:00-17:00). Check out their website for further information!