Friday, September 10, 2010

Otto Wagner

Structural architecture has always been of my interest; in particular, 19th Century European architecture. One of the most important architects of the 19th and 20th centuries was Otto Wagner (1841-1918). Wagner’s work represented the historicism period of the mid 19th century to the start of the modernism of the 20th century. Most interesting was the way in which he replaced traditional building designs for modern yet simpler building structures. He encouraged modern architecture for that new era and along those lines he defined modern forms. “Modern forms must correspond to new materials, contemporary needs, if they are to be found suitable for mankind today. (Wagner)” Some of his modern form projects included museums, parliament buildings and urban plans, which employed new materials such as glass, steel, and aluminum. One of his most important projects involved the design of the Imperial Entrance Hall of the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna. He introduced his design as a combination of three-dimensional gilded model presentation and an intricate presentation in watercolors and drawings. Even though his design was never approved he continued to refine his concept through his drawings that echoed his evolving modernism. Overall, Wagner’s ideas have lead me to think out of the box and draw inspiration from 19th century building structures, as well as those more modern and functional building structures.

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