The Collection of Architecture documents important epochs in the history of Viennese architecture by means of design drawings, plans, sketch books and models. At present it compasses some 15,000 objects. Among the most valuable items are the Gothic designs of the “Dombauhütte” for St. Stephen’s Cathedral which are regarded as masterpieces of medieval drawing art.
The focus of the collection in terms of period is on the 19th and 20th centuries. Thus Friedrich von Schmidt, the Master Builder of St. Stephen’s Cathedral and constructor of the New City Hall, is amply represented with some 4,000 drawings, plans and other objects from his estate, as is Heinrich von Ferstel, builder of the Votivkirche and the university, whose legacy comprises around 1,000 items. The museum also owns important works by the youngest of the “Ringstrassenbarone”, Carl von Hasenauer. An important pupil and successor of Schmidt as Viennese “Gothic master” was Viktor Luntz, whose estate with more than 5,000 objects is among the most extensive of the sub-collections.
The highlight and the core of the Collection is formed by the estate of Otto Wagner. The approximately 1,000 sheets are mostly made up of presentation drawings and competition designs, including numerous drawings for buildings and projects which count among seminal works of European architecture around 1900. The Wien Museum is also entrusted with the estate of Ludwig Baumann, who played the part of conservative adversary to Wagner, as well as that of Max von Ferstel. Friedrich Ohmann is represented in the museum with more than 100 high-quality drawings.
Besides drawings and plans, numerous architectural models, whether historical or built for exhibitions, represent a further, particularly impressive medium of presentation of architecture. Original models include most notably Otto Wagner’s Academy of Fine Arts, Leopold Bauer’s National Bank Building, and sketches for construction work on the Danube plateau. In future it is planned that Viennese architecture of the 20th and 21st centuries will be represented more substantially, in order to extend the collection up to the present day.