HOFFMANN, Josef


HOFFMANN, Josef
(1870-1956)
   Josef Hoffman, a leader of the Art Nouveau architectural style, was born in Moravia and went to school in Brno with Adolf Loos. He then studied in Vienna under Otto Wagner and subsequently played a central role in founding the Viennese Secession, together with Joseph Maria Olbrich. Beginning in 1899, Hoffmann taught at the School for Arts and Crafts in Vienna, and later became the director of the school. A series of houses he constructed in Vienna, including the Carl Moll and Koloman Moser houses, reveal a more ornate style than that of Loos. After Hoffmann broke with the Secessionists, the wealthy industrialist Moser helped him found the Viennese Werkstätte, for which Hoffmann designed furniture and domestic objects in the Arts and Crafts style.
   Hoffmann's Purkersdorf Sanatorium, built in 1904 on the edge of the woods outside Vienna, was commissioned by Viktor Zuckerkandl to be a modernist nursing home for the wealthy elderly. Zuckerkandl dictated much of the design, and in fact wanted a flat roof for the building. The building is a simple, white rectangle cut inward and outward to create cubic volumes that provide a three-dimensional façade together with a three-part vertical division of the exterior. The rhythmic arrangement of unarticulated rectangular windows, grouped in threes, reveals a restrained, well-proportioned structure. The bright, white interior, done in a very rational style, cultivates the appearance of a "sanitary" space. Hoffmann's subsequent Palais Stoclet, constructed in 1905-1911 in Brussels for the wealthy banker Adolphe Stoclet, was designed in a much richer style called the Judenstil, the Viennese version of the Art Nouveau style. Copper sculpture decorates the exterior of this subtly historicizing, organic building, while the interior is decorated with murals by Gustav Klimt. This is the style that provided impetus for Adolf Loos's attacks on architectural ornamentation and excess. With these buildings constructed in Europe in the first decades of the 20th century, historians have traced the beginning of the division between the sparer, geometric modernism and the more organic, expressive form of modernism that continued to define architecture through the rest of the century.

Historical Dictionaries of Literature and the Arts. . 2008.

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  • Hoffmann, Josef — (1870–1956)    An architect and interior designer, Hoffmann was one of the founders of the Secession, with which his name is still closely associated. He studied both in Italy and at the Vienna Academy of Art. Here he came under the influence of… …   Historical dictionary of Austria

  • Hoffmann, Josef — (b. Dec. 15, 1870, Pirnitz, Moravia d. May 7, 1956, Vienna, Austria) Austrian architect and designer. He studied under Otto Wagner in Vienna but in 1899 helped found the Vienna Sezession, which broke free of Wagner s Classicism. He cofounded, and …   Universalium

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  • Josef Hoffmann (Architekt) — Josef Hoffmann (1902) Josef Franz Maria Hoffmann (* 15. Dezember 1870 in Pirnitz, Österreich Ungarn; † 7. Mai 1956 in Wien) war ein österreichischer Architekt und Designer. Mit Koloman Moser war er Gründungsmitglied und einer der Hauptvertreter …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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  • Josef Rudolf Lewy-Hoffmann — Josef Rudolf Lewy (* 2. April 1802 in Nancy; † 19. Februar 1881 in Oberlößnitz, heute Radebeul; auch Josef Rudolf Lewy Hoffmann) war ein französisch deutscher Musiker (Ventilhorn) und Komponist. Er war der jüngere Bruder von Eduard Constantin… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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