AD Classics: Haas Haus / Hans Hollein

Photo by Matthew Bietz -

The modern Hass Haus, designed by Hans Hollein, was controversial from its initiation in 1987. The intrusion of a contemporary glass and stone building was met with a resistance, much to do with its location in the shadow of ’s oldest and greatest architectural masterpieces – St. Stephen’s Cathedral. If anything, the building’s locale in St. Stephens Square is most complementary to the antique cathedral; the contours of the church are brilliantly mirrored on the Hass Haus’ façade and display that modern architecture can be momentous, as well as unobtrusive to its historical context.

More on the Hass Haus after the break.

Photo by J M Santos -

The reflective façade is perhaps the most fascinating aspect of this structure. Not only does it emphasize the Hass Haus’ historical surroundings, but each of the individual panels is a functional window which tilts outward to allow ventilation.

Photo by Rory Hyde -

Romanesque in appearance, the round, curved façade further connects this current structure to its medieval milieu. Having been based on the principal that “modern house are built on top of medieval ruins,” this addition occupies the second level and above, suspending above street level. To support this cylindrical protrusion, blocks of marble project out from the building and downward to the lower levels, which are adorned with stone.

Photo by Ferran Nogues

Haas Haus was originally conceptualized as a shopping mall, however, it currently functions as a hotel, restaurant and a café and the other part is four floors of a sales room for an international fashion chain. This multi-use facility offers modern conveniences, without ruining the old-world feel of Stephansplatz.

Architect: Hans Hollein
Location: Vienna, Austria
Project Year: 1987-1990
Photographs: Flickr: Joaquim Rendeiro, J M Santos, Rory Hyde, Ferran Nogues, Matthew Bietz
References: WienTourismus/Claudio Alessandri,

Cite: Edwards, Sarah. "AD Classics: Haas Haus / Hans Hollein" 01 Sep 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed 30 May 2015. <>
  • Sam

    this is one of the worst buildings I have ever seen, it’s dangerous for students to be looking at this.

    • Randy

      You forgot to add the all-important, “In MY opinion”, yes?

  • Dennis Moss Jnr

    horrible postmodernism!

  • mB

    It’s a pity that there are no interior pictures at all. It’s totally rebuilt on the inside, so we could at least see in photos how it looked like, originally.