Heinrich von Ferstel - Austria

Heinrich Freiherr von Ferstel (07.07.1828 – 14.07.1883) studied architecture at the Academy of Arts in Vienna under Eduard van der Nüll and August Sicard von Sicardsburg.
As a consequence of his part in the 1848 revolution, he was in disrepute for several years. He entered the atelier of his uncle (Friedrich August Ritter von Stache),
where he worked at the votive altar for the chapel of St. Barbar in St. Stephen's Cathedral (Vienna). Additionally the work with his uncle comprised the
restoration and construction
of many castles in Bohemia. Heinrich von Ferstel undertook journey of some length to Germany, Belgium, Holland and England. These travels confirmed him in his
tendency towards Romanticism. In 1854 he was sent to italy as a bursar, where he became an admirer of Bramante's architecture. As a consequence he converted
to the Renaissance style of architecture, and began to use polychromy by means of graffito decoration and terracotta. The use of terracotta, which he adapted from the
early Renaissance, was empleyed in his Austrian Museum of Applied Arts.

In 1855 Heinrich von Ferstel was awarded the first prize in the competition for the votive church (Votivkirche) in Vienna, while he was still in Italy. His success in the competition
against 74 rivels from at home and abroad, made him immediatly famous. The votive church was the first project for the Viennna "Ringstrasse", which was still a project at this
time. His competition desing was neo-gothic in the style of french cathedrals. The church was built between 1856 and 1879 and after the death of Heinrich von Ferstel, it was proposed
by Sir Tatton Sykes as a model for the new Westminster Cathedral in London.

Heinrich von Ferstel designed some other public buildings in the inner city and the "Ringstrasse" area. The expansion of the city of Vienna, enabled Ferstel to develop civic architecture
along artistic lines. Another of Ferstel's monumental works, belonging to the same period as the votive church ist the Austro-Hungarien bank in Vienna. Additionally he had the opportunity
to put his ideas into practice in a number of private dwellings and villas in Brünn and Vienna.

1875  University of Applied Arts - Vienna