Peter Kunerth

Peter Kunerth (2010), Carlo Von Boog and the Design of the Kaiser Franz Joseph-Landes-Heil- und Pflegeanstalt Mauer-Öhling, Institute of Urban and Architectural History; 1st reviewer: Peter Schurz, 2nd reviewer: Karl-Friedrich Gollmann; 195 pages, German.

The provincial sanatorium Mauer-Öhling is Lower Austrias most important building of the Art Nouveau area. This masterpiece of the early Art Nouveau area impresses by its functional and spatially well-balanced overall arrangement and was built after the design concepts of Carlo von Boog from 1898 to 1902. Boog, an ingenious designer of this plant, however, was soon forgotten, although he had made the decisive preliminary stages for the big sanatorium Am Steinhof in Vienna and Mauer-Öhling became the real model for Steinhof. Mauer-Öhling was designed by him as axisymmetric plant in a gazebo system. Due to its extremely innovative concept Mauer-Öhling was the most modern sanatorium in Europe. This was also shown in the enormous international interest during the construction period. In Mauer-Öhling the at that time revolutionary medical methods of treatment and attendance in the psychiatric area such as the open-door system were implemented in the contemporary architecture. Boog was a declared fan of Otto Wagner and so many design elements of the early Wagner-school were taken over concerning the architectural proportions in general and many details such as the usage of the numerous floral or vegetable dcor forms. Especially Boogs closest colleague Erich Gschöpf seemed to be responsible for the remarkably early application of the secessionistic vocabulary of forms. Generally the space allocation and many other experiences with the construction of Mauer-Öhling were incorporated in the planning concept of Steinhof. But also Boogs urbanistic concept with its extremely axial solution complies with Wagners basic principles and was later also applied in Steinhof. The emphasis on the axis applied in Mauer-Öhling, which includes the administration building, the convention center with the chapel and the central kitchen building, was aggravated in Steinhof by spacing the buildings and separating the church from the theatre building. There Otto Wagner planned his awesome church as dominant for the whole sanatorium plant. This solution, however, was in contrast to Boogs concept, who had suggested for economic reasons a plant that fitted to the territory only quasi symmetrically. Generally Boogs project management was determined by economic thoughts. By implementing new techniques such as the usage of concrete as building material he was able to save a lot of money.

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