At a first glance anyone would say: another Gaudi work? But the use of tile, strong, primary colors and biomorphic forms is what represents also artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser, who’s work is reflected not only in architecture, but applied in theory as well.
His main focus was integrating natural aspects of the surrounding landscape into his one of a kind works,with the accent put not on the design itself but on the sensation created by it and the way it would reflect into the eyes of the viewer. The experiences offered by his creations transcend the linear, regular lines that modern architecture have established ( he considered a straight line the devil’s tool).
The irregular forms of his works were considered to be more appropriate and better connected to the imperfect human nature.Thus his well-known work the Hundertwasserhaus, an apartment block located in Vienna which features undulating floors (see The Uneven Floor) (“an uneven floor is a melody to the feet”), a green roof and large trees growing from inside the rooms,an architectural piece really “connected” to nature.
His hunger for a better understanding of the human being led him to architecture focused on human, environmental friendly buildings, rejecting straight lines and functionalism that led to human misery, monotony and excessive rationality. He considered that the man should stop trying to contain nature and that he, as part of the natural world, should coexist in harmony with the surroundings.
All of his following architectural projects included uneven floors, woods on the roof, vegetation: housing complexes in Germany; a church in Bärnbach, Austria; an incineration plant and sludge center in Osaka, Japan; a railway station in Uelzen; a winery in Napa Valley; and the Hundertwasser toilet in Kawakawa.
Today we are going to focus on what is considered to be one of the most beautiful stations in the world: Bahnhof ülzen.
The project was born due to a collaboration between the DB German Railways, local partners and the world famous artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser as the leading architect and builder.The concept consists,of course, of ecological ideas, naturalistic enthusiasm assembled by the well known Hundertwasser style.
Integrating modern technology in a beautiful old station has transformed this railway junction into a new,unforgettable experience.
The concept of the station is just a part of an overall project which approaches yet again the ecological aspect.
The building was also created to be a solar power plant. On the roof of the station building and in the platform zones large solar panels have been installed to capture the sun light and transform it into energy. The implementation of this ecologically sound way of producing energy has become a role model for all station redevelopments.
In order to make traveling seem more appealing, another idea was proposed: a bike system that supports the ecologically sound travel by linking the various means of transportation in an intelligent, healthy way.
The project was meant to grow and so, in the next few years, a new district will be developed on the site of the former railway sidings, placing Bahnhof ülzen in the center.
No one says that now,in order to keep up with the ecological, green “trend” all architects should design more like Friedensreich Hundertwasser, with his organic approach, but we shouldn’t yet catalog his work and his vision as being childish, although that that is generally the main impression created by his works. Hundertwasser along with Antony Gaudi, are exceptions that ended up creating exceptional works of art.
Photo courtesy to Friedensreich Hundertwasser