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Extension to a girls' high school, Hietzing, Vienna (© Architectural Press Archive / RIBA Library Photographs Collection)

Extension to a girls’ high school, Hietzing, Vienna (© Architectural Press Archive / RIBA Library Photographs Collection)

This image of a girls’ school in Hietzing, Vienna (XIII), was taken soon after the extension was completed in 1931. It shows the new entrance and stairway with its simple decoration and economic use of materials. The architects, Siegfried Theiss and Hans Jaksch, worked together predominantly in Austria and their careers survived two world wars and spanned from 1907 to 1961. Schools were just a small part of the varied repertoire which included public buildings, housing, churches and the first high-rising building in Vienna, the Hochhaus Herrengasse completed in 1932.

Around this time, architect Raymond McGrath described one of their other works, a house also located in Hietzing, as being “truly pleasing” by virtue of its design (1). In his book,  along with dwellings by designers as diverse  as Le Corbusier, Loos, Mackintosh and Voysey, McGrath chose the house designed by Theiss and Jaksch as one of the examples of new homes with qualities that he hoped would become more commonplace in the future.

1. McGrath R., 1934. Twentieth-century houses. London: Faber, p.130

About Wilson Yau
I work for the British Architectural Library at the RIBA as part of a team to share news, images and information online about the activities of the Library and the fascinating items we have in our architectural collections – it contains over four million items, so there's plenty to see! If you’re curious about what we do at the Library and with the collections, or want to discover the latest about our education programmes, public events and exhibitions at the RIBA, please visit www.architecture.com

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1 Comment
  1. Residential architect

    October 20, 2012

    Not sure that this staircase would comply with contemporary guidelines for school design (rough surfaces, curved design) but the photograph is very atmospheric highlighting the use of light and shadows to define space.

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