Bad Soden’s Hundertwasser House

The Austrian artist and architect Friedensreich Hundertwasser (1928-2000) was well known for his colorful, whimsical buildings with rounded edges and slanting towers, garishly decorated with thousands of small tiles.

His buildings were never very practical, because he didn’t want to “enslave” people by locking them up in boxes with straight lines. The house he designed for Bad Soden was particularly impractical and probably would have collapsed before it was even finished if another architect named Peter Pelikan hadn’t revised the plans and put them into a ‘buildable’ form.

The Hundertwasser House with nearby buildings

Since the house was built very close to some of Bad Soden’s mineral springs, the builders were not allowed to dig out a basement in the usual way. Instead, they drove 251 concrete pillars into the ground to support the building.

These pillars were intended to leave the leave the mineral springs intact, but when the building was finished it turned out that the springs had gone dry. So they had to start an elaborate and costly project to make a new channel for the mineral water. (I don’t know who paid for this.)

Bad Soden’s Hundertwasser House

Finally they did get the mineral water flowing again. In fact they seem to have tapped into some underground stream that was previously unknown, because the springs now supposedly deliver twice as much water as before.

Like most of Hundertwasser’s buildings, the one in Bad Soden is in constant need of repair.

My photos in this post are from 2013. I revised the text in 2022.

See more posts on Bad Soden am Taunus, Germany.

12 thoughts on “Bad Soden’s Hundertwasser House”

  1. Definitely a whimsical-looking building, certainly reminiscent of Gaudi’s works in Barcelona, or even the Dancing House in Prague!

  2. It’s a lovely, if unfortunate building, with its need for intervention and repair. It certainly has character!

  3. Whimsey is interesting but impractical in a building. I wonder if the Gaudi buildings have similar problems – this building reminds me of some of Gaudi’s buildings

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