Biography of Joseph Hoffmann (1870-1956)

Viennese architect. He/She was born in Pirnitz, Moravia, in 1870 and died in Vienna in 1956. He/She began his studies at the Instituto Superior of Arts and crafts in Brno and held a year of learning at the offices of military construction of Würzburg. He/She continued his education at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste under the teachings of Otto Wagner and founded, together with Olbrich, Czeschka, Koloman Moser, Leo Kainrald and others, the Club of seven, friends of the Arts fellowship.

A scholarship got awarded the Prix de Rome in 1895, thanks to your Forum Orbis project, allowed him to remain a long stay in Italy. The following year he/she joined the study of Wagner, where he/she collaborated with Olbrich in some projects for the Metropolitano.En 1898, Moser, Klimt, Moll and Hoffman founded the Seccesion, dealing with Hoffman in the beginning of the Assembly of the exhibitions organized by the Association. A year later he/she was a professor at the Vienna Kunstgewerbeschule, and in 1900 designed an interior at the Universal exhibition in Paris, as well as the interior decoration of many houses.Your first orders of architecture constituted a series of houses in the Hohe Warte from 1902, in addition to a small church in Hohenberg, yet with a distinctly eclectic. He/She also founded in this period the Wiener Werkstätte, workshop for the production of secessionist design objects, which had Hoffman much greater influence on his contemporaries than through his architectural works. The sanatorium of Purkersdorf (1904-1906), his first public building, was his first important architectural work with an extreme simplification of architectural deployment and an anticipation of rationalism: the building is presented as a large white block in which the rows of tiles edges have volumetric effects to a plane. The Palais Stoclet (1905-1911), in Brussels, was established as the Summit of the select modernism, with interior of Gustav Klimt's mosaics and a wealth of outdoor. During the realization of the Stoclet Palacio, also developed Hoffman an intense activity in Vienna: the Wittgenstein House, Hochstätter House and the construction of the first store for the Wiener Werkstätter, all made in 1912 1907.En Hoffman participated in the founding of the Austrian Werkbund. His style was becoming increasingly more personal with the Austrian Pavilion of Rome (1910) and special interest showed the theater to Kapfenberg, of the same year. The House Primavesi in Vienna (1915) and the House for the Ast Adviser in Carinthia (1922-1924), along with their famous homes duples (1932), made on the occasion of the exhibition of the Werbund in Vienna, were the catalysts of a fierce controversy that arose around his new way of projecting, more in keeping with the international style, and which led to the resignation of the Organization of the Werkbund. From this moment on, Hoffman returned to the rigidly neoclassic building, as you could see in the Austrian Pavilion of the Venice Biennale, built by him in 1934, progressively focusing its activity towards studies and projects never made.


GRESLERI, GIULIANO - Joseph Hoffmann. Mexico, D.F., Gustavo Gili, 1983.

FANELLI, GIOVANNI and GODOLI, EZIO - the Vienna di Hoffmann architetto della Qualità. Editori Laterza, 1981.

BORSUI, FRANCO and PERIZZI, ALESSANDRA - Joseph Hoffmann tempo and geometry. Roma, Officina Edizioni, 1982.