Ungargasse and around

Armed with my Jugendstil walking guide, I went through the Stadtpark

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Stadtpark station from ground level

and crossed some busy roads to get to Ungargasse to look at another once-modern building.

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Part of the Portois & Fix House, built 1899-1900 by Max Fabiani, a student of Otto Wagner’s. It combined residential, commercial and factory premises for a furniture manufacturer. The green tiles (contrast with the Majolikahaus) look almost pixelated.

Its colour and pared-back decorative elements are quite striking compared to its neighbours, with their caryatids, Corinthian pilasters and floral garlands . . . but then, on the way, I noticed this building, built 5 years later

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with its cherubs and roundels and cantilevered bays . . . and green glazed tiles. Even traditional architects were willing to mix a bit of modernity with their Historicist bread and butter designs, I guess.

One other thing I noticed on my way to the Arenbergpark is how municipal apartment blocks are fitted in amongst established neighbourhoods, rather than on the edge of somewhere or on a new plot as in Britain. It can seem rather cramped (I’m assuming there are courtyards and gardens hidden behind the façades), but it looks more socially mixed. This street, for example, where the 1920s block abuts a very fancy earlier one:

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I was heading to the park to look at the WWII flak towers. There was no chance of missing them:

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I’m not sure I would care to live with that lowering over the end of the street. (It’s not as bad as having a view over Hill 60 outside Ypres, though.) The second one in the park is even bigger:

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About aides mémoires

This is a chronological list of things I have seen, places I have visited, and thoughts that have wandered through the space between my ears. A reading group of one; an art appreciation society limited by my preferences and prejudices; opera criticism by one who knows nothing about the subject.
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