Karl Ehn - Austria

Karl Ehn (1.11.1884 - 26.7.1959) studied architecture in Vienna from 1904 to 1907, beeing teached by Otto Wagner. He became one of the most important architects
of the so-called Vienna "Gemeindebaustils". In 1906 he was awarded the Rosenbaum-Preis, one year later followed the Gunde- und Hagenmüller-Preis.

From 1909 until his retirement, Karl Ehn worked for the Vienna City Administration, holding a leading position from 1921 on. He was responsible for many Gemeindebauten
(public housing projects) of the 1920s and 1930s. Some of them were of outstanding dimensions and became stile icons for the so-called Red Vienna. Even after the political
power changes, Karl Ehn remained in his position. But during this period he received no more major commissions. With the end of the social democractic city governement of Vienna,
his buildings became very sober and plain. In the years 1938 and 1939 he built some mor apartment buildings. His last building was the Karl Schönherr-Hof, which was errected
after his retirement in 1950. It is estimated that a total of more than 2500 flats in Vienna were desinged by Karl Ehn.

Karl Ehn is considered to be one of the most successful followers of Otto Wagner. From his teacher he adopted the representative monumentality, which was applied to his
social housing and created one of the essentil style characteristics of the typical social housing projects (Gemeindebauten) of the Red Vienna. The so-called "Gemeindebaustil"
merges modernistic, contemporary expressionistic and lokal traditional Elements. This style, reflecting the self-consciousness of the austrian social democracy of the time,
is best representend in the monumental and legendary "superblock" Karl Marx Hof in Vienna.

1927 - 1933 Apartment Building Karl Marx Hof - Vienna