Studio: international art — 30.1904

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A Vienna Workmen s Home

THE "ARBEITERHEIM," OR altered in the externals of architectural design, and
WORKMEN'S HOME, VIENNA, real life had to find out for itself what could be
BY J. A. LUX achieved under the guise of antique, Roman,
Gothic or baroque architecture. An inventive
A new school of architecture has arisen mind was needed to release us from these
under the guidance of Prof. Otto Wagner, of fetters, and assert our freedom. Such an one
Vienna. The principles inculcated by this gifted is Otto Wagner. His esthetic principles may be
and original artist have resulted in a new style, summed up in three words—purpose, construction,
based on the requirements of modern life. Even and poetry. Practical sense leads him to purpose-
architecture, the least popular of the arts, has not ful construction, and to evolve form from construc-
been able to withstand the pressure of the time; in tion. To understand the true meaning of these three
the nineteenth century it yielded reluctantly to the words we must consider the sources of life and of
demands of the day, though always affecting the art. In an age that depends on tradition, creative-
aspects of a past style, and aiming at appearances ness, always unsettling, is regarded as revolutionary,
rather than at realities. Hence during the last This accounts for the resistance and aversion which
century, architecture, once the mistress of the arts, Wagner has met with from the leading artistic and
sank into a decline, and quite forgot the time when official authorities. It is Wagner's almost tragical
its noblest efforts bore good fruit in the kindred fate that, in spite of his endeavours and organising
arts of sculpture, painting, and decoration. And power, nearly all his great designs, filling many
if, obeying compulsion rather than any spontaneous folios, remain on paper; however, he is not the
inspiration, some living attempts were made, this first great man wrecked by the narrow views of his
merely proved that genuine .needs are a stronger time.

power than a love of show. Little at first was Still, no force in nature is wasted. The principles


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