Joseph Maria Olbrich - Austria

Joseph Maria Olbrich (22.12.1867-08.08.1908) was an Austrian architect and designer, who became an important figure of the Vienna Secession.
Olbrich became a mason and later worked as a draftsman for a construction company. In the year 1882, Joseph Maria Olbrich came to vienna
visited the architecture classes at the Vienna State School. In 1890 Olbrich started studying at the acadamy of applied arts Vienna, where his desings
won several awards. Olbrich started working for Otto Wagner in 1893, making many drawings for the Vienna Metropolitan Lines. From the year 1900 on,
Olbrich lived and worked in Germany.

The Vienna Secession was formed under the leadership of Gustav Klimt, when several artists seperated from the Vienna fine art institution "Künstlerhaus".
As the new artistic group needed an own exhibition building, Olbrich received his first major commission and built the Secession Hall in 1897.
Later he built several houses in Vienna and its surroundings, one of them for Hermann Bahr in the city district Hietzing. This relationship with Hermann Bahr
was important for Olbrich, laying the base for his reputation as a major architect in Vienna.

Olbrich was called to Darmstadt by Ernst Ludwig von Hessen to take part in the Mathildenhöhe artists colony. Olbrich soon became the inofficial leader of this
artists colony. On the 4th of April 1990, Olbrich was named professor and becam citizen of Hessen. At this time, Olbrich was the only architect in the artists group,
since Peter Behrens was active as painter and graphic. The artists colony becam a experimental field for Olbrich, beeing responsible for the main building,
the Ernst-Ludwig house. Additionally, Olbrich constractud several houses and temporary buildings for exhibitions. During his time in Darmstadt, Olbrich designed
ceramics, carpintery and music instruments.


1897  Secession Hall - Vienna