Architecture and the Spirit of Reform: The School of Architecture at the Angewandte

The Angewandte is the colloquial name for the present-day University of Applied Arts Vienna and refers here also to the historical predecessors of that institution. Since its founding in 1867, the Angewandte has contributed crucial innovations to modern architectural training and practice. To this day, the school is considered one of Europe’s most innovative institutions in research and teaching, with superbly qualified teachers and students from all corners of the globe. Many central figures in the global discourse have taught or currently teach here, among them, Josef Frank, Zaha Hadid, Zvi Hecker, Josef Hoffmann, Hans Hollein, Wilhelm Holzbauer, Greg Lynn, Wolf D. Prix, Hani Rashid, Kazuyo Sejima, Johannes Spalt, Oskar Strnad and Heinrich Tessenow. Moreover, the Angewandte has always shaped regional building and design practices in decisive ways, led by luminaries such as Franz Schuster, Max Fellerer, Oswald Haerdtl, Otto Niedermoser and Otto Prutscher. Fritz Janeba also taught here, making him one of the few artists brought back out of exile after the Second World War. 

As one of the first truly modern art schools, the Angewandte had a profound impact on many other reform-minded art schools such as the Bauhaus in Germany or the Vkhutemas in Russia. And as Austria’s first school of architecture, it was already training female architects prior to 1900 in the form of female students in specialized classes devoted to interior design. The alumni have stimulated and continue to stimulate events in architecture up to the present day at various places across the globe. With its credo of creatively reflecting new planning technologies in the context of global developments, the school is more capable than ever of substantially contributing to positive change.

Read more

Matthias Boeckl​„Baukunst aus Reformgeist: Die Architekturschule der Angewandten“, in:​“150 Jahre Universität für angewandte Kunst Wien. Ästhetik der Veränderung“, Edition Angewandte, De Gruyter, Berlin/​Boston, 2017

The text was adapted by M. Boeckl in 2022. Translation by Mark Wilch.