RE: Architecture United With Nature

Reading your post reminded me of one of my favorite architects, Frederick Hundertwasser. Hundertwasser was an Austrian architect who had beliefs much similar to Tenrunobu Fujimori. Hundertwasser was also very interested and engaged in ecology. He was also an artist. His style in painting using bright colors and devoid of straight lines carried over to his architecture when he started designing in the 1950’s. Hundertwasser and Fujomori differ in their use of materials. Fujomori is trying to raise ecological awareness by having the materials do the speaking, while Hudertwasser is allowing the structure and design of the building to do the teaching. Hundertwasser was also an activist for many topics so I believe this may be why his buildings were more focused on the social agendas and ideas he wanted to share in comparison to the material.

One of my favorite ideas that he came up with was what he called the “Window Right-Your Tree Duty” which is “If man walks in nature’s midst, then he is nature’s guest and must learn to behave as a well-brought-up guest.”. He also had ideas for a new type of infrastructure that focused on vegetation and reducing chemicals in the air because the trees would filter them out.

New Infrastructure Proposal

New Infrastructure Proposal

Hundertwasser’s fight for the preservation of forests was through the way he combined ecological ideas and architecture, lectures, writing manifestos, and creating posters. To include ecology in his architecture he used green roofs, uneven floors as the natural land would be in nature, and random vegetation in places.

How Vegetation plays with tenants in an apartment.

How Vegetation plays with tenants in an apartment.

Hundertwasser believed that “Straight lines are the work of the Devil,” and “An uneven floor is the melody of the feet,”. He was upset that many architects wanted to take away the beauty of nature’s curves of hills and uneven ground. To combat this, the floors of his buildings reflected a gentle rolling landscape with uneven layout. Often the walls and floors did not have an even joint, but flowed right into the other.

I do not believe that either Hudertwasser or Fujimori are better then the other in the way that they choose to represent their idea of having a building speak and teach other about ecology. The only critique I have about Fujimori is that I am unsure about the life span. If they are made completely of natural materials, I wonder how long they will last. If they deteriorate wouldn’t this provide a negative image of an idea falling apart and decaying? This is where I want to support Hundertwasser and his ideas because although he is not using natural materials, he is building something that is of good strong quality that will last a long time and continue to teach others. The way that he includes ecology and vegetation in his buildings creates a poetic view of how nature and architecture can work together. I think Hudertwasser still has a successful way of educating how the importance of ecology through his buildings and supplementing it with lectures and other activist ways.

Spontaneous green coming from buildings.

Spontaneous green coming from buildings.


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