The Villa Beer

Monday, 25.07.2016

The 13. Bezirk (district) called Hietzing is one of 23 Bezirke that make up Metropolitan Vienna. The 13. Bezirk is well known for Schönbrunn Palace, the summer residence of the Habsburgs. The district also has the largest collections of villas built by Adolf Loos.

The villa that I found the most interesting was the Villa Beer not by Loos but by the younger architect Josef Frank (1885-1967) who was later in charge of the Viennese Werkbundausstellung of 1932.

The Villa Beer was built by Frank together with Oskar Wlach between the years 1929-1931. Situated in a quiet residential street the villa with its 800 sq. metres appears monumental.

The first thing one notices is the large occulous window above the entrance. Walking around the building, the asymmetrical facade is made up of numerous windows, doors, oriels, terraces and balconies. They are all of varying sizes placed on different levels all around the building.

the facade with the occulous window

the facade with the occulous window

the garden front

the garden front

various balconies on different levels

various balconies on different levels

Although the building is derelict and empty I was able to go inside. The Architekturzentrum Wien (see www.azw.at) organised an open day weekend on the 2. and 3. April, 2016.

The interior very much echoed the outside. There was a clear interaction, on different levels, of open staircases and hallways which allow for niche spaces as well as landings and lead to large salons. The large balconies and terraces connect the inside with the outside.

interior view showing various landings

interior view showing various landings

window looking out onto the garden

window looking out onto the garden

staircase to the upper floor

staircase to the upper floor

Josef Frank always believed that a house was to be a ‘Haus als Weg und Platz’ (house as a path and place). Therefore the inhabitants, just like in a city, walk from space to space with every space catering for certain moods that the occupant can live out.

At the time of writing the villa is seeking a new owner and is offered on the market for 5.3 Million Euros.

model of the garden front

model of the garden front

the occulous room

the occulous room