This year is the 100th anniversary of Viennese architect Otto Wagner’s death. The Wien Museum and Museum of Applied Art are presenting his works and numerous drawings in an unprecedented scale. In the visits, one drawing caught our eyes. Wagner put together in a sketch a well dressed of lady and a tent-like pavilion design for the silver wedding anniversary of the imperial couple in 1879. That’s curious how a a pavilion is in metaphor of a lady’s dress and how female sense is conveyed through a male architect’s eye. That can be also seen from the his renderings for the Church of St. Leopold. But as Wagner said – what is impractical can never be beautiful – his artistic expression of architectural beauty is originally based on the practical function of it.
On the same sense, Viennese modernist architect Adolf Loos designed a white bedroom for himself and his wife in 1903. Silk sheet, soft carpet and curtain enhanced this female feeling while thus sense of softness and gentless fits well with a bedroom of intimacy need.
However in another exhibition Sos Brutalismus in Architekturzentrum Wien, we can see the opposite kind of beauty which has been presented by male architects as raw concrete material and outstanding volume. But in the end of this exhibition, surprisingly, we also found some female architects. For example, Pakistan’s first female architect Yasmin Lari, designed her own room with a radical solution with an open ground plan to break the expectations of a feminine delicate architecture.
The gender of architecture should be defined for the feeling of the space, or the touch of the material instead of the architect’s gender. At last, the beauty of architecture is aroused by the experience of the users, but not by the architect’s fame or gender.