WAGNER, Otto
(b. 1841, Penzing, d. 1918, Wien)

Majolica House: general view

1898
Photo
Linke Wienzeile 40, Vienna

In 1898, Wagner produced two residential blocks in Vienna, the Linke Wienzeile Buildings at Linke Wienzeile 38 and 40. Made in the Vienna Secession style, they are both lavishly decorated with colourful tiles, sculpture and wrought iron. The house at Linke Wienzeile 40, popularly known as the Majolica House, has a façade covered with majolica or glazed earthenware tiles in floral designs. The other at Linke Wienzeile 38 is called the Medallion House, for the bronze medallions on the façade. It also features sculpted angels on the roof. A third building nearby, at Köstlergasse 3, was the town residence of Otto Wagner for a time.

The form of the crisp, flat, six-storey urban façade of Majolica House, with its positive cornice and iron balconies to the lower two storeys, is reminiscent of Schinkel's work: Wagner covered the façade in faience with flat, flowing patterns in pinks, blues and greens - only the ten lions' heads immediately below cornice level are in relief.

Although the façade is flat and rectilinear, not curvilinear like some Art Nouveau architecture, the external decoration shows the influence of Art Nouveau (or Jugendstil).