Vienna Secession

Vienna is famous for its Secessionist architecture and design. Well-known artists of the style include Otto Wagner, Josef Hoffmann, Joseph Maria Olbrich, Koloman Moser, and Gustav Klimt. It is my favourite current within all of Art Nouveau.

My portfolio is relatively comprehensive, containing most important examples of Vienna Secession. Notable omissions include Otto Wagner’s two villas in Hütteldorf, Josef Hoffmann’s Villa Primavesi, and some other buildings outside the city centre. The Stoclet Palace by Hoffmann, located in Brussels, is another main work of the movement and should in no way be forgotten.

I took the below photos in November 2015, September 2016, and March 2017. I would also like to expand the collection with more photos of details, interiors, and furniture.

You will find all the mentioned sites on the map below:


1. Secession Building

Friedrichstraße 12, Innere Stadt
Joseph Maria Olbrich, 1897-1898

The Secession Building is an exhibition hall that was constructed as an architectural manifesto for the Vienna Secession. Secession means the seceding of a group of rebel artists from the long-established fine art institution.

The building stands out for its circular dome made of golden leaves of bronze dominating over the clean white walls. Ever since, the white-golden colour pattern has been seen as a trademark of the Vienna Secession. Under the dome there is the motto of the Secession in golden letters: ‘Der Zeit ihre Kunst, der Kunst ihre Freiheit’ (‘To every age its art, to every art its freedom.’) The other motto, ‘Ver Sacrum’ (‘Holy Spring’), is located next to the bronze entrance doors. It was also the title of the magazine of the movement.

The entrance doors were designed by Georg Klimt, the gorgons above the doors are the work of Othmar Schimkowitz, and the six owls on the side façades are by Koloman Moser. The building is also home to Gustav Klimt’s Beethoven Frieze.

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2. Nussdorf weir, the Schemerlbrücke, and administration building

Otto Wagner, 1894-1899

These works of hydraulic engineering are located at the point where the Donaukanal leaves the Danube. They were constructed with the purpose of transforming the Donaukanal into a winter harbour. They help maintain sufficient amount of water in the canal so that ships could pass it, and they protect the canal from floods and ice.

The weir, the Schemerlbrücke and the administration building are the works of Otto Wagner. Because of the prominent location of the weir, it was designed by Wagner as particularly impressive, as a gate to the city. It is adorned with imposing columns topped with lions made of bronze by Rudolf Meyr. The Secessionist administration building has a roof platform that served as an observation post. The Schemerlbrücke is named after an Austrian official who designed the first plans to regulate the Danube in 1810.

The adjoining buildings and the lock are thought to be the work of Sigmund Taussig.


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The Wiener Stadtbahn, the public transportation system of Vienna, operated since 1898. It is, as a whole, a major example of late-Historicist and early-Art Nouveau architecture in the city. It is also one of the best works of Otto Wagner.


3. Stadtpark Stadtbahn Station

Otto Wagner, 1897-1899

This is one of the few preserved stations of the Wiener Stadtbahn.



4. Kettenbrückengasse Stadtbahn Station

Otto Wagner, 1899

This station, named after a chain bridge that crossed the Wien River since 1828-1830, opened in 1899 among the other stations of the Wiener Stadbahn.



5. Karlsplatz Stadtbahn Station

Otto Wagner & Joseph Maria Olbrich, 1899

This station, originally named after Akademiestraße, is the most outstanding of the historical stations of Vienna. It consists of two pavilions lying opposite to one another at Karlsplatz. These pavilions are, unlike the other stations of the Stadbahn, made of steel framework with marble slabs mounted on the exterior. They are very rationalist buildings, even though much more heavily ornamented than all the other stations. The floral ornaments are the work of Joseph Maria Olbrich. Today, one of the pavilions serves as an exhibition space, the other one is used as a café.


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6. Hofpavillon Hietzing

Schönbrunner Schloßstraße, Hietzing
Otto Wagner, 1898-1899

The Stadbahn station was built on Wagner’s initiative for Emperor Franz Joseph I and his entourage. Unlike the other Stadtbahn stations, it has a Baroque-influenced dome, which makes it look slightly more conservative than, for example, the station located at Karlsplatz. The Emperor used the pavilion only twice. Today it belongs to the Vienna Museum.


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7. Apartment building on Linke Wienzeile 38

Otto Wagner, 1898-1899

This building and the Majolikahaus next to it with their flat and colourful façade ornamentation are a decisive breakaway from the architecture of Historisism. It is decorated with the golden ornaments by Koloman Moser and the sculptures on the roof are by Othmar Schimkowitz. Its corner solution is spectacular as well.


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8. Majolikahaus

Linke Wienzeile 40, Naschmarkt
Otto Wagner, 1898-1899

The façade of this famous building is decorated with majolica tiles produced in the Wienerberger factory. The tiles are weather-proof and can be easily cleaned. The floral ornaments that extend over the entire façade were designed by Otto Wagner’s student Alois Ludwig. The plant carpet is especially dense between the windows of the upper floor.



9. Apartment building with shops on Fleischmarkt 14

Ferdinand Dehm & Franz Olbricht, 1898-1899

The Secession Building clearly influenced the ornamentation of this structure on Fleischmarkt. Johann von Herbeck, the founder of the Vienna Singverein, was born here in 1831.



10. Apartment building with shops on Rotenturmstraße 29 / Franz-Josefs-Kai 25

Carl Stephann & August Belohlavek, 1898-1902

This curvilinear building is located on Schwedenplatz.



11. Haus Portois & Fix

Ungargasse 59-61, Landstraße
Max Fabiani, 1899-1901

Portois & Fix was a famous Austro-Hungarian enterprise specialising in furniture production and interior design.

The upper storeys of this building are decorated with tiles in two different shades of green. It resembles Otto Wagner’s Majolikahaus, but while there the floral ornaments were painted on the tiles, here the play of colours is based on the positioning of tiles, which makes me think of the development of the azulejo art in Spain and Portugal in the 15th and 16th centuries. The tiles were produced by the Zsolnay Porcelain Manufacture located in Pécs.

There is an elegant wrought-iron railing on the roof. The shop-floor level of the façade was originally decorated with Swedish granite.



12. Artaria-Haus

Kohlmarkt 9, Innere Stadt
Max Fabiani, 1900-1902

This building is named after Artaria & Co., a famous music publishing firm that had its office here since 1775. Frédéric Chopin stayed in the older building since November 1830 to July 1831.

The current building is from 1902 and its architecture goes hand in hand with the trends of the Secessionist architecture. The walls of the façade are covered with marble like in several works of Otto Wagner. The bay windows that later became very popular appeared here for the first time in Vienna. The protruding roof with geometric ornaments is also a common element of Viennese Art Nouveau.



13. Apotheke ‘Zum weißen Engel’

Oskar Laske & Viktor Fiala, 1901-1902

The first traces of a pharmacy bearing the name of the White Angel are from 1587. The current building is from 1902 and is decorated with marble and mosaics depicting angels. It is a rare example of an Art Nouveau pharmacy.



14. Apartment building on Johann-Strauß-Gasse 45

Carl Holzmann, 1902

Light blue is not the colour that I usually associate with the Art Nouveau of Vienna.



15. Gumpendorfer Hof

Gumpendorfer Straße 106, Mariahilf
W. König, 1902

This building with Art Nouveau façade decoration is from 1902.



16. Villa Vojcsik

Linzer Straße 375, Hütteldorf
Otto Schönthal, 1900-1902

This is probably the most interesting Art Nouveau villa that I have ever seen anywhere. It was designed by Otto Schönthal, a 23-year-old student of Otto Wagner, for Ladislaus Vojcsik, Wagner’s doctor. The building is still richly decorated in the vein of Secession, but it also shows the first signs of the more abstract geometric ornamentation of the years to come. The central part of this generally symmetrical façade is dominated by a protruding roof supported by corbels. The horseshoe-shaped entrance door and window were very innovative at the time. The polychrome tiles decorated with the images of laurel wreaths are very beautiful.


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17. Rüdigerhof

Hamburgerstraße 20, Margareten
Oskar Marmorek, 1902

This building divides into three distinct zones as its façade is plastered differently on different levels. It is crowned by a monumental protruding roof. It hosts a café of the same name, operating since 1903.



18. Apartment building on Alois-Drasche-Park 8 / Schelleingasse 46

Otto Wagner Jr., 1902

This and three adjacent buildings in Alois-Drasche-Park and on Schelleingasse were designed by Otto Wagner’s son.



19. Hohe Brücke

Wipplingerstraße, Innere Stadt
Josef Hackhofer, 1903-1904

This Art Nouveau bridge was constructed in 1903-1904 on the site of a former bridge. It links the two parts of Wipplingerstraße, which were, in earlier times, separated by a brook.

There has been a lottery next to the bridge for a long time. Many people in Vienna remember their old advertising slogan: ‘Über die Hohe Brücke führt der Weg zum Glücke’ (‘Across the High Bridge leads the path to luck’).


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20. Apartment building on Josefstädter Straße 50-54 / Schönborngasse 1 / Kupkagasse 2

Hans Dworak, 1904

This building has a classical façade with female mascarons.