If you've been around the block a few times, chances are you've seen quite a few kinds of windows - but probably not all on the same building - with living trees sprouting from between them, no less! Well, if that's something you'd like to take a gander at, head on over to the KunstHaus Wien Museum in Vienna, Austria. The odd museum, which houses the work of artist and architect Friedensreich Hundertwasser, is characterized by its bumpy, mosaic-lined facade, irregular floor, green roof and "tree tenants" that grow right out of it!
“Some people say houses consist of walls. I say houses consist of windows. The repetition of identical windows next to each other and above each other as in a grid system is a characteristic of concentration camps. Windows in rank and file are sad, windows should be able to dance,” Friedensreich Hundertwasser once said. So when he designed KunstHaus Wien, he made sure he practiced what he preached – each window is a different color, size, shape or type, making the facade of the building a mismatched quilt that somehow seems to work.
The trees that grow right out of KunstHaus Wien are a delight to visitors, but they also play an important role is cleaning the air around the museum and providing shade. Lovingly called “tree tenants” they are considered a living part of the building – not just an adornment, and some of the plants sprawl over the walls of the facade, creating a green wall.
The walls of KunstHaus Wien aren’t the only places trees thrive. The museum also has a green roof which has full size trees growing right on it – a sight that is pretty rare (probably due to the fact that trees need room to spread their roots). If you are even in Vienna, definitely check out this fascinating museum even if it’s only to admire its living walls and interesting design.