Living in The Cottage of Vienna

The Cottage Sanatorium

Dec 27, 2016


The Cottage Sanatorium was opened in October 1908 and since then has changed little on the outside. It was commissioned to chief Viennese architect Hans Kazda on a plot of 10,000 square meters, with a basic layout of 100m x 40m. Here is a drawing of the perspective-view, sketched out by the renowned artist Erwin Pendl in 1909.

This image was later published in the Austrian Illustrated Newspaper, together with a series of interior drawings of the Sanatorium. You will find the images further down this page. (You can also find the full article in German at the end of this blog, and a translation can be gladly handled through my translation service page.)
I suppose Pendl went up the hill of the neighbouring Observatory, when drawing this perspective-view. He was probably sitting on the terrace of the  Aequatorial Coudé housing, a small brick building with a tower for the huge telescope. Pendl even integrates this Coudé building into one of the interior views, where the Coudé can be seen outside, beyond an open balcony door.




In the picture above you can see Pendl’s perspective view, and I pointed out two landmarks to the left and right of the Sanatorium, which are still existing today: The observation tower, namely the “Paulinenwarte” in the Türkenschanzpark (left), and the headquarters of the “Bodenkultur”-University (right), both established in the late 19th century and both were fully renovated recently.

The Sanatorium was divided into three pavilions, one specialised in metabolic disorders, internal deseases and subsequent reducing diets, the second was dedicated to convalescence and to patients, who needed absolute peace and quiet (hence the focus on air and space throughout the concept), the third part was for neurological illnesses such as hysteric fits or nervousness,  but the institution strictly declined patients with lunacy, epilepsy or alcohol disorder.

The Sanatorium was famous for its treatments and for the people who underwent that treatment, but its architecture is stunning as well. I will include some photos, which I took in spring and late autumn this year 2016. Here is another image of one of the wrought iron gates, and a detail of the fence, carefully renovated in recent years.




The gates as well as the whole fence, which is lining the building on three sides, were made by the Viennese firm “Wilhelm Gamisch” in 7th district Vienna, and they are a masterpiece of art.


Taking a walk around the building alongside this fence is a special delight at any season of the year.



The main entrance gate in 2016. Today the building is used by the diplomatic entourage of Russia and is quite difficult to access.



The main entrance gives immediate way to a reception hall, which Erwin Pendl luckily drew for us as well . The design is a shining example of the turn-of-the-century Viennese decorative art, and it boasted all the splendour of the art-nouveau. I don’t know how much of it is left today.


Here is the floor plan of the ground floor, which shows that the complex is divided into the area with representation rooms in the middle, flanked by Pavilions to the left and to the right. The top middle part shows the dining area, with the tables put in place, and two terrace doors giving way to the spacious open terrace.


Here you can see, what the dining hall and terrace (in German it is marked as “Jausenterrasse”) actually looked like. Thanks to Erwin Pendl we are lucky to know every detail of this dining culture. The folded napkins resemble the shape of an open Japanese fan. Set upright into the Champagne  glasses, these napkin-fans are taking us back to the belle époque of the early 20th century.


As mentioned before, the focus of the concept altogether was set on “ample space and plenty of air”, for the patients to breathe and recover mentally and physically. Thus there were only 76 patient rooms throughout the entire complex.

Here on the second floor is a double room situated in the protruding corner area, facing the little tower in the Türkenschanzpark to the North. You can see  the tower through the open balcony door. It is a spacious double-bed room with integrated bathroom and toilet. The rooms are furnished with luxurious wooden furniture by Bothe & Ehrmann, in 5th district Vienna, but mainly by the famous art-nouveau furniture makers “Julius und Josef Herrmann Möbelfabrik”, in 7th district Vienna. All carpets, partly hand-woven, were provided by Genersich und Orendi, in Vienna‘s 1st district, Lugeck area. Unfortunately, all those companies have vanished over the years.


The room below in blue is decorated with furniture in pear and mahogany, and you can also get a glimpse of the  washroom facilities laid out in marble and faience. This room faces the park of the Vienna Observatory in the South, and through the open terrace door you can see the tip of the before mentioned Coudé telescope building, a gift of Baron Rothschild, who had a great love for astronomy. (Do not miss out on my story about the Coudé set against the exceptionally beautiful winter scene of ice and snow).cottage-sanatorium_room_aurea


The front facade of the Cottage Sanatorium is 100 meters wide. The left corner piece is featured on my photo below, shown in the tender sunlight of a late November  afternoon.







The impressions of the Cottage Sanatorium in the autumn light will continue on Cottage Sanatorium Blog PART IIwith plenty of photos, and I hope you have some more time to enjoy them also. 2016  All rights reserved.


Cottage Sanatorium PART II


Further reading (only available in German):
If you would like the complete article in translation, please contact me through my Translation Webpage: Leeb Translation Services.

Österreichische Illustrierte Zeitung, Heft 13, pp 327, Austrian National Library, ANNO



Austrian National Library, “ANNO”, Der Bautechniker XXIX Jg.2, pp 22-24
(An English translation of the full article can be gladly provided through my Translation Webpage: Leeb Translation Services.)




Austrian National Library, “ANNO”, Der Bautechniker XXIX Jg.3






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