Friedensreich Hundertwasser: Molding Manifest Against Rationalism in Architecture

Painting and sculpture are now free, because everyone is allowed to produce all kinds of objects and exhibit them afterwards. In architecture, however, there is still no such fundamental freedom, which is a condition of all art, because you have to have a diploma before you can build. Why?

Everyone should be able to build, and as long as this freedom of construction does not exist, the current, planned architecture cannot be classified as art at all. For us, architecture is subject to the same censorship as painting in the Soviet Union. What has been realized are pitiful compromises made by rulers with a guilty conscience!

One should not impose any inhibitions on the building cravings of the individual! Everyone should be able to build and should build, and thus bear real responsibility for the four walls in which they live. And you have to take the risk that such a great structure collapses afterwards, and you shouldn’t and shouldn’t be afraid of human sacrifices, which this new construction method may or may not require. It must finally stop that people move into their quarters like the Hendeln and the rabbits their stable.

If such a great thing that the residents build themselves collapses, it usually crashes anyway, so that you can escape. From then on, the tenant will be more critical and creative towards the housing he lives in, and will thicken the walls and pillars with his own hands if they seem too fragile.

+ The material uninhabitability of the slums is preferable to the moral uninhabitability of functional, useful architecture. In the so-called slums, only the human body can perish, but in the architecture supposedly planned for humans, his soul perishes. Therefore, the principle of the slums, that is, the rampant architecture, has to be improved and taken as a starting point and not the functional architecture. + *

Functional architecture has proven to be a mistake, as has painting with a ruler. We are approaching the impractical, the useless and finally the uninhabitable architecture with giant strides.

The great turning point, for painting the absolute tachistic automatism, is for architecture the absolute uninhabitability that is still to come as architecture lags behind by thirty years.

Just as we already experience the miracles of trans-automatism after total tachistic automatism has been exceeded, we will only experience the miracles of a new, true and free architecture after overcoming total uninhabitability and creative mold. However, since we are not yet completely uninhabitable, since we are unfortunately not yet in the trans-automatism of architecture, we must first strive for total uninhabitability, the creative mold in architecture, as quickly as possible.

A man in a tenement house must be able to lean out of his window and – as far as his hands can reach – scrape off the masonry. And he must be allowed to paint everything pink with a long brush – as far as he can reach – so that you can see from a distance, from the street: there lives a person who differs from his neighbors, the assigned one Small cattle! He must also be able to saw up the walls and make all kinds of changes, even if this disturbs the architectural and harmonious image of a so-called masterpiece of architecture, and he must be able to fill his room with mud or plasticine.

But this is prohibited in the rental agreement!

It is time for people to revolt themselves against being put in box constructions, like the chicken and rabbits in cage constructions that are alien to them.

+ A cage construction or utility construction is a building that remains alien to all three categories of people involved in it!

1. The architect has no relation to the structure.

Even if he is the greatest architectural genius, he cannot predict what kind of person will be who will live in it. The so-called human measure in architecture is a criminal fraud. Especially when this measure is the average of a Gallup system.

2. The bricklayer has no relation to the structure.

For example, if he just wants to design a wall a little differently, based on his personal views, if he has any, he will lose his job. And besides, he doesn’t care, because he won’t live in the structure.

3. The resident has no relation to the structure.

Because he didn’t build it and he just moved in. His human needs, his human space is certainly a completely different one. And this remains the case, even if the architect and bricklayer try to build exactly according to the instructions of the occupant and the customer. +

+ You can only speak of architecture if the architect, bricklayer and resident are one, i.e. the same person. Everything else is not architecture, but a criminal act that has become a form.

Architect-mason-dwellers are a trinity just like God-Father-Son-Holy-Spirit. Note the similarity, quasi identity of the Trinity. If the unit architect-bricklayer-inhabitant is lost, there is no architecture, just as the now fabricated structures cannot be regarded as architecture. Man must resume his critical, creative function, which he has lost and without which he ceases to exist as a person! +

+ It is also criminal to use the ruler in architecture, which, as is easy to prove, can be seen as an instrument of the decay of the architectural trinity. +

Carrying a straight line with you should be prohibited, at least morally. The ruler is the symbol of new illiteracy. The ruler is the symptom of the new disease of decay.

Today we live in a chaos of straight lines, in a jungle of straight lines. If you do not believe this, take the trouble and count the straight lines that surround him and you will understand; because it will never come to an end.

I counted 546 straight lines on a razor blade. The linear and imaginary connection to a second razor blade of the same production, which certainly looks exactly like this, results in 1090 straight lines and, if you add the packaging, to the 3000 straight lines of the same razor blade.

Not too long ago, ownership of straight lines was a privilege of the kings, the wealthy and the clever. Today, every fool has millions of straight lines in his pocket.

This straight-line jungle, which is more and more entangling us like prisoners in a prison, must be cleared.

So far, man has always cleared the jungle in which he was and freed himself. However, he first has to be aware that he is in a jungle, because this jungle has crept up without the people knowing about it. And this time it’s a straight line jungle.

Any modern architecture in which the ruler or the compass played a role for even a second – if only in your mind – must be rejected. Not to mention the design, drawing board and model work, which has not only become sterile, but also truly absurd. The straight line is godless and immoral. The straight line is not a creative, but a reproductive line. It is not so much God and human spirit that lives in it, but rather the comfort-minded, brainless mass ant.

The structures of the straight line, even if they bend, bend, overhang and even perforate, are therefore obsolete. This is all follow-up panic, is the fear of the constructive architects, only to switch to tachism in good time, that is, to the uninhabitable.

If the rust settles on a razor blade, if a wall starts to mold, if the moss grows in a corner of the room and rounds off the geometric angles, you should be happy that life with the microbes and sponges moves into the house and we do become more aware than ever of witnesses of architectural changes from which we have much to learn.

The irresponsible rage of the constructive functional architects is well known. They just wanted to tear down the beautiful houses with stucco facades of the 1990s and Art Nouveau and plant their empty structures there. I point to Le Corbusier, who wanted to razed Paris to put down straightforward monster constructions. In order to practice justice, one would have to tear down the structures of Mies van der Rohe, Neutra, Bauhaus, Gropius, Johnson, Le Corbusier, etc., since they have become obsolete and morally unbearable for a generation.

However, the trans-automatists and everyone who is beyond the uninhabitable architecture are more humane with their predecessors. You don’t want to destroy anymore.

In order to save the functional architecture from moral ruin, a decomposition product should be poured onto the clean glass walls and smooth concrete so that the mold can settle there.

++ It is time for industry to recognize its fundamental mission, and that is: to create creatively!

It is now up to the industry to bring a moral sense of responsibility towards mold to its specialists, engineers and doctors.

This moral sense of responsibility towards creative mold and critical weathering must already be anchored in the Education Act.

Only the technicians and scientists who are able to live in mold and create mold creatively will be the masters of tomorrow. ++

And only after the creative mold, from which we have a lot to learn, will a new and wonderful architecture emerge arise. * The additions bordered with + were only added to the mold manifestation after the lecture at the Seckau conference. ++ These paragraphs are an insert by Pierre Restany, 1958 addition 1959. Today’s architecture is criminally sterile. Because, fatally, all construction activity stops at the moment when people “move into their quarters”, when construction activity should normally only begin after people have moved in.

We are so outrageously robbed of our humanity by dictates of shame and forced in a criminal way not to change or add anything to the facade, layout, or the interior, neither in color nor in structure or masonry. Even owner-occupied apartments are subject to censorship (see regulations of the building authorities and statutes of the rental agreement). The characteristic of a prison, cage, or stable is precisely the building that was completed a priori, the final cessation of construction activity before the animal or prisoner moved into structures that were alien to him, combined with the categorical constraint on the inmate, of “his” imposed housing to change. The fact that the person comes out of the prison in between and can walk around the city “freely” doesn’t change anything.

Because the true architecture arises from normal building activity and this normal building activity is the organic growth of an envelope around a group of people. This building growth behaves exactly like the growth of the child and the human being.

The absolute final line under the building activity of a structure is only conditionally acceptable with monuments and uninhabitable architectures.

However, if the structure is intended to house people inside, the absolute cessation of building activity before the move in of people must be viewed and punished as an unnatural sterilization of growth and thus as a criminal offense.

The architect as we know him today has the right to build uninhabitable architectures only if he is capable of it at all. It is not his competence to build habitable architectures and this must be decisively denied to him; how notorious poisoners and mass exterminators are not allowed to work freely.

Because the now much praised architectural pre-planning of homes is nothing more than controlled mass murder through deliberate sterilization. A walk through a European city, but especially through a newly built district, is enough to make this shocking accusation conclusive for everyone.

Just an idea of ​​exemplary healthy architecture now, and this list is unfortunately shamefully small:

1. The Gaudí buildings in Barcelona.

2. Certain structures of Art Nouveau.

3. The Tower of Watts by Simon Rodia in a suburb of Los Angeles.

4. Le Palais Du Facteur Cheval in the department de la Drôme, France.

5. The slums, the so-called “eyesores” of every city (slums, taudis, quartiers insalubres).

6. The farmhouses and houses of the primitive, if they are now shaped by hands as before.

7. The allotment garden houses of the workers.

8.  Illegal houses built in America by the residents themselves.

9. Dutch houseboats,  Sausalito houseboats. *

10. Buildings by the architects Christian Hunziker,  Lucien Kroll *  and fewer others. *  Italic corrections and additions made by Hundertwasser from 1996.

Addition 1964 Architects may only act as technical advisors, that is, answer questions about stability etc. In any case, they must be subordinate to the resident or the wishes of the resident. Every inhabitant must have access to his “outer skin”, that is, he must also be allowed to design the shell of his dwelling facing the street.

Written 1958/1959/1964

First published in 1958
Numbered and signed brochure
Galerie Renate Boukes | Wiesbaden

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