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Oswald Haerdtl


Oswald Haerdtl (*1899 in Vienna, †1959 in Vienna) was an important Austrian architect, designer, and architecture teacher.

Oswald Haerdtl came into contact with the Lobmeyr company as a young architect and designer.

With an eye to the 1925 Exposition Internationale desArts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes exhibition in Paris, he delivered a numbered bundle of the most diverse, fine glass designs—including sensationally tall vases, the world-famous “Candy Dish” made of extremely fine muslin glass, and Drinking Set No. 240. After the 1930s, and especially during the post-war decade, he emerged as a designer of elegant chandeliers, and a collaboration with Stefan and Hans Harald Rath soon followed. These designs, made for Café Prückel, the Federal Chancellery, and many other cafés and shop spaces, are characteristic of the mid-century style of cosmopolitan Vienna.

He studied under Kolo Moser and Oskar Strnad at the Wiener Kunstgewerbeschule, and entered Josef Hoffmann’s master class in 1922, soon becoming his assistant. From 1935 to 1959, he was head of the architecture department. His teaching, architectural projects, and international connections, to Italy and France in particular, made him a lasting influence on post-war Modernism in Vienna, bringing a sense of lightness and elegance into the design vocabulary.

The most famous of his numerous buildings and designs include the Austrian pavilions at the world exhibitions in Brussels in 1935 and Paris in 1937, his participation in the Werkbundsiedlung, the restoration of the Federal Chancellery after the war, Espresso Arabia, Café Prückel, Tanzcafé Volksgarten, and the History Museum of the City of Vienna, today the Wien Museum.