Architect: Ernst Lichtblau
Wattmanngasse 29, Vienna
His independence was already evident in 1914 when he designed the plans for a residential building that was popularly known as the Schokoladenhaus because of its emphatically sculptural ceramic decoration.
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 1920s.
Dark brown majolica cornices connect the rows of windows on each floor.
The wall pieces between the windows, which look like pillars, reinforce the impression of a window band motif.
The majolica reliefs are designs of the sculptor and ceramist Willibald (Willy) Russ. They are decorated with fairy-tale animal and plant figures as well as fanciful ornaments.
The motifs seem to be taken directly from folk art, which provided constant inspiration for the Wiener Werkstätte.
Already in 1914, the year of its construction, the Schokoladenhaus received an architectural award.
The extravagant facade found no immediate successors. Ceramic facade decoration, however, is often found on the buildings of interwar modernism.