As soon as I saw this apartment building in Bad Soden, Germany, I knew it had to be another Hundertwasser marvel.
It is so much like the apartment building in nearby Darmstadt, Germany that I once dubbed a “house where Dr. Seuss would live,” except that I couldn’t find any information about this building. It wasn’t even listed in the Wikipedia list of Hundertwasser buildings. But the placard on the building said otherwise.
I can’t tell you much about the building, but I can share some interesting facts I learned about its creator:
- To survive the Nazi invasion of Austria, Hundertwasser and his mother claimed to be Catholic (which he was, on his father’s side) and at one point, Hundertwasser even joined the Hitler Youth.
- Friedensreich Regentag Dunkelbunt Hundertwasser was actually born Friedrich Stovasser. His adopted surname is based on the translation of “sto” (the Slavic word for “(one) hundred”) into German (Hundert). The name Friedensreich has a double meaning as “Peace-realm” or “Peace-rich” (in the sense of “peaceful”). Therefore, his name Friedensreich Hundertwasser translates directly into English as “Peace-Realm Hundred-Water”. The other names he chose for himself, Regentag and Dunkelbunt, translate to “Rainy day” and “Darkly multi-coloured.”
- An opponent to straight lines and functional architecture, Hundertwasser designed buildings with uneven floorboards, grass on the roof, and “Window Rights,” saying “A person in a rented apartment must be able to lean out of his window and scrape off the masonry within arm’s reach. And he must be allowed to take a long brush and paint everything outside within arm’s reach. So that it will be visible from afar to everyone in the street that someone lives there who is different from the imprisoned, enslaved, standardised man who lives next door.
- He was a fan of “composting toilets.” (You can look that up yourself.)
- Today marks the 17th anniversary of his death aboard HMS Queen Elizabeth 2 on February 19, 2000.
Are you familiar with Hundertwasser’s architectural style?