The backstage view of a Viennese house

2 Feb

The old (1970s) WienEnergie building on Spitalgasse has been torn down to make room for a new “campus” for the medical school of the University of Vienna. This makes perfect sense–the general hospital is nearby, the old general hospital was turned into a proper campus for the University of Vienna a little over 20 years ago, and one semi-public building (the utilities provider was municipally owned at one time and then hived off) will remain in public hands. (The University of Vienna is a public university.) In addition, not even this defender of older buildings is sorry to see the olive green and orange structure go. I’ll be curious to see what comes.

In the meantime, the clearing of the site has laid the neighboring house open to scrutiny and shows some interesting things about Viennese buildings and, in fact, culture. Appearances are quite important in Vienna. (A friend of mine who has lived in Boston, London, Paris, Amsterdam, and Washington D.C. as well as in Vienna said that Vienna is the only city she has lived in where you got better service at the deli counter in the supermarket if you had put your make-up on.) For me, this focus on appearances is reflected in the relatively ornate facade of the house (the photo on the left) compared to the plainness of back of the house, with wing (the photo on the right). At the same time, it is often said that the imposing facades of the turn-of-the-century houses in Vienna hide some of the nicest aspects. These are for house residents only. This I see in what appears to be a small garden with a tree. That is probably quite a nice place to sit out–or will be again once the building project is complete!

An example of what is called a cultural artifact in the intercultural world …

Advertisement

One Response to “The backstage view of a Viennese house”

  1. esauboeck February 2, 2022 at 6:04 pm #

    I know these buildings! Thanks for sharing! I’m glad to hear that the medical school is getting a new building. And all those 1960s-70s buildings can go, in my opinion!

Leave a Reply to esauboeck Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: