Josef Maria OLBRICH
Austrian architect, interior designer and craftsman
Josef Maria Olbrich studied at the Fine Arts Academy in Vienna, Austria, before joining the workshop of Art Nouveau architect Otto Wagner. He later collaborated to the designs for the Vienna Subway Stations. In 1897, he became one of the founding members of the Vienna Secession Movement, which represents the beginning of "Modernism" in Austria, and he designed their exhibition building.
In 1899 he practiced as an architect and a teacher in Darmstadt, Germany. He worked there for the construction of the Artists' Colony of Mathildenhöhe, where he designed the workshops, exhibition hall and houses. In 1907, Joseph Maria Olbrich founded the German Werkbund in Munich, Germany.
Olbrich was one of the most representative and productive architect-designer of Vienna Secession and Jugendstil, the corresponding movements of Art Nouveau in Austria and Germany. He was also precursor of Expressionist architecture.
The buildings he designed to create total works of art, are functional, massive and dynamic at the same time; their traditional construction is enriched by original decorative elements and monumental sculptures; the façades are divided into different plans by light structures, arcades or multi-shaped windows. The designs of his furniture, crafts work and metalware, such as the famous candelabra, are expressive, rigorous and simple, decorated with original geometric details and harmonious forms.
see our selection of items related to Josef Maria Olbrich
Secession Building, Vienna, Austria (1898)
Exhibition Hall, Houses and Workshops of Artists' Colony, Mathildenhöhe, Darmstadt, Germany (1900-1908)
Josef Maria Olbrich's Candelabra, pewter and silver (circa 1900)