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Otto Wagner

Otto Wagner

*  1841 Wien
† 1918 Wien

Otto Wagner studied architecture between 1857 and 1863 at the Technische Hochschule in Vienna and the Bauakademie in Berlin. Otto Wagner subsequently spent a brief stint in the practice of the Viennese architect Ludwig von Förster before becoming self-employed in 1864. From 1894 until 1912 Otto Wagner was a professor for architecture at the Viennese Akademie der bildenden Künste. The roll of distinguished pupils of Otto Wagner's includes such great names as Josef Hoffmann, Josef Maria Olbrich, and Adolf Loos. Otto Wagner's earliest buildings were private houses and office buildings in the historicizing style: in 1867 Villa Epstein in Baden and, in 1873, the synagogue in Budapest. The house designed by Otto Wagner at 23 Schottenring (1878) as well as Villa Wagner in Vienna-Hüttendorft (1888) are still in the "Ringstrasse style". In the 1890s, however, Otto Wagner abandoned Historicism to become a pioneer of the Viennese Modern style. In 1898 what were called the Viennese row houses were built after plans by Otto Wagner. In 1899 Otto Wagner joined the Viennese Secession, which he left with the Klimt group in 1905. Otto Wagner's important urban planning and architecture projects include the Viennese urban railway (1892-1901), complete with viaducts, bridges, and more than 30 station stops, and a church, the Kirche am Steinhof (1902-1907). The Austrian Postsparkasse building (1904-1906), however, is viewed as Otto Wagner's masterpiece; he also designed the interior and furnishings. Variants of the Otto Wagner Postsparkasse tables and bentwood chairs were later made by Thonet and J.&J. Kohn. From 1890 Otto Wagner was involved in design, creating numerous furnishings for his buildings as well as lighting, textiles, glassware and metal objects.