Vienna: Schokoladenhaus

Schokoladenhaus, 1914. Architekt: Ernst Lichtblau
Schokoladenhaus, 1914. Architect: Ernst Lichtblau

Schokoladenhaus, 1914. Architect: Ernst Lichtblau

Schokoladenhaus, 1914. Architect: Ernst Lichtblau

Schokoladenhaus, 1914. Architect: Ernst Lichtblau

Schokoladenhaus, 1914. Architect: Ernst Lichtblau

Schokoladenhaus, 1914. Architect: Ernst Lichtblau

Schokoladenhaus, 1914. Architect: Ernst Lichtblau

Schokoladenhaus, 1914. Architect: Ernst Lichtblau

Schokoladenhaus, 1914. Architect: Ernst Lichtblau

Schokoladenhaus, 1914. Architect: Ernst Lichtblau

Schokoladenhaus, 1914. Architect: Ernst Lichtblau

Schokoladenhaus, 1914. Architect: Ernst Lichtblau

Schokoladenhaus, 1914. Architect: Ernst Lichtblau

Schokoladenhaus, 1914. Architect: Ernst Lichtblau

1914

Architect: Ernst Lichtblau

Wattmanngasse 29, Vienna

The architect Ernst Lichtblau was one of the few students of Otto Wagner who approached contem­porary modernism.

His indepen­dence was already evident in 1914 when he designed the plans for the residential building in Vienna-Hietzing, which is now a listed building and was popularly known as the Chocolate House because of its unusual design.

In the use of motifs from folk art, in forms that already refer to the coming Art Deco, and in the shaping of window bands, Lichtblau antici­pated criteria of the archi­tecture of the twenties.

The three-story apartment building was erected in 1914 in place of a one-story house with a side wing according to plans by Ernst Lichtblau for the client Ida Hofmann.

According to a first draft, the basement was to consist only of the cellar of the previous building. In the executed version, however, this old cellar was extended.

In 1914 the house was awarded the „Prize of the Municipality of Vienna for outstanding buildings“.

In 1932 an apartment division took place,

In 1938 the roof was extended. Where origi­nally there was a drying room and ironing room, an apartment was built. The former laundry room was converted into a studio.

The design of the facade shows an extensive indepen­dence from Lichtblau’s teacher Otto Wagner.

Window shapes and contrasting smooth wall surfaces with decoration are reminiscent of the facades by architect Josef Hoffmann.

The majolica reliefs are designs by sculptor and ceramist Willibald (Willy) Russ.

They are decorated with fairy-tale animal and plant figures and fanciful ornaments.

The motifs seem to be taken directly from folk art, which provided constant inspi­ration for the Wiener Werkstätte.

The ceramic cladding between the windows and around the entrance portal consists of floral and figural repre­sen­ta­tions that vary throughout the three floors.

In the mezzanine, the letters H, I and S were incor­po­rated in three reliefs.

In the figure relief on the left side of the entrance portal there is the year 1914.

The cornice is multi-tiered and decorated with relief moldings depicting plants and birds.

Dark brown majolica cornices connect the rows of windows on the floors.

The smooth surfaces of the facade were origi­nally made of polished Carrara marble.

The wall pieces between the windows, which look like pillars, reinforce the impression of a window band motif.

The extra­vagant facade found no immediate successors in Vienna.

Ceramic facade decoration, however, is often found on the buildings of interwar modernism.

Schokoladenhaus, 1914. Architect: Ernst Lichtblau

Schokoladenhaus, 1914. Architect: Ernst Lichtblau

Schokoladenhaus, 1914. Architect: Ernst Lichtblau

Schokoladenhaus, 1914. Architect: Ernst Lichtblau

Schokoladenhaus, 1914. Architect: Ernst Lichtblau

Schokoladenhaus, 1914. Architect: Ernst Lichtblau

Schokoladenhaus, 1914. Architect: Ernst Lichtblau

Schokoladenhaus, 1914. Architect: Ernst Lichtblau

Schokoladenhaus, 1914. Architect: Ernst Lichtblau

Schokoladenhaus, 1914. Architect: Ernst Lichtblau

Schokoladenhaus, 1914. Architect: Ernst Lichtblau

Schokoladenhaus, 1914. Architect: Ernst Lichtblau

Schokoladenhaus, 1914. Architect: Ernst Lichtblau

Schokoladenhaus, 1914. Architect: Ernst Lichtblau

Schokoladenhaus, 1914. Architect: Ernst Lichtblau

Schokoladenhaus, 1914. Architect: Ernst Lichtblau

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