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Emil Hoppe (Austrian, 1876–1957)

About this artist

Source: Oxford University Press

Austrian architect. His grandfather, Anton Hoppe, was a renowned architect in Biedermeier Vienna. Emil Hoppe studied at the Staatsgewerbeschule in Vienna before going on to the ‘Wagnerschule’ at the Akademie für Bildenden Künste (1898–1901). He was awarded the Schwendenwein Stipendium in 1901, enabling him to travel to Italy, where he produced topographical sketches and a series of powerful drawings of heroic, imaginary architecture. These were published in the Wagnerschule yearbook of 1902 and had an influence that extended beyond the confines of Vienna; Antonio Sant’Elia was clearly indebted to Hoppe’s example, and the debt may have been shared by Erich Mendelsohn.

From 1902 to 1909 Hoppe worked as an assistant in Otto Wagner’s studio, together with his fellow Wagnerschule students Marcel Kammerer (b 1878) and Otto Schönthal. While all three worked on the major Wagner projects of the period, the Post Office Savings Bank, the am Steinhof church and the various projects for a Stadtmuseum, they also developed their own independent careers. In 1905 Hoppe and Schönthal submitted a competition scheme for a synagogue in Trieste, which incorporated many of the structural techniques used in the am Steinhof church. While working with Wagner, Hoppe also built blocks of flats (Kleine Neugasse 3, Vienna V, 1902–3; Ottakringerstrasse 82, Vienna XVII, 1906), collaborated with his brother Paul Hoppe on large-scale projects (flats, Riemergasse 8, Vienna I, 1907–8; school for the Wiener Frauen-Erwerbs-Verein, Wiedner Gürtel 68, Vienna IV, 1909) and designed glassware for the firm of E. Bakalowits. He was responsible for a small courtyard at the Kunstschau of 1908 in Vienna, organized by the Klimtgruppe, and was active in the design of funerary architecture.

Upon leaving Wagner’s studio in 1909, Hoppe joined Kammerer and Schönthal in a group practice that played an important part in defining Viennese modernism in the years immediately preceding World War I. The new practice combined a rigorous faith in new materials and constructional techniques with a sensitive awareness of the Viennese building tradition. A convincing Neo-Biedermeier manner was achieved in a series of flats (Martinstrasse 17, Vienna XVIII, 1910; Frankenberggasse 3, Vienna IV, 1910; Rosensteingasse 73, Vienna XVII, 1911; Wiedner Haupstrasse 126–128, Vienna V, 1912–13; Plenergasse 24, Vienna XVIII, 1912). Larger projects included office and bank buildings (Dorotheergasse 5 and 7, Vienna I, 1912–15; Zentralbank der Deutschen Sparkassen, Am Hof, Vienna I, 1913–16) and a grandstand and judges’ tower for the Wiener Trabrennverband (Prater, Vienna II, 1911–13), which combined concrete technology and Baroque detailing in the most brilliant manner. Executed projects by Hoppe outside Vienna include a series of stations for the Niederösterreichische Landesbahnen and the interior of the Austrian pavilion at the Esposizione Internazionale d’Arte in Rome (1911). The outbreak of World War I halted work on a large hotel and sanatorium project at Opatija on the Istrian Riviera.

After the War Hoppe continued in practice with Schönthal, and the two-man partnership played a significant part in the social housing programme promoted by the Vienna city council in the 1920s and early 1930s. The planning ideals proposed by Otto Wagner in his book Die Grossstadt (1911) were applied at the Zürcher-Hof (Gudrunstrasse 145–149, Vienna X, 1928–30) and the Strindberg-Hof (Rinnböckstrasse 53–61, Vienna XI, 1930), while Camillo Sitte’s more picturesque views on planning dominated at the Matteotiplatz (Sandleiten, Vienna XVI, 1925–9), the largest of all the social housing developments, on which Hoppe and Schönthal collaborated with the architects Franz Matuschek (1874–1935), Siegfried Theiss (1882–1963), Hans Jaksch (1879–1970), Franz Freiherr von Krauss (1865–1942) and Tölk. A series of smaller industrial projects was built by Hoppe and Schönthal before the joint practice was closed in 1938. After World War II Hoppe was engaged in restoring some of his earlier buildings after war-damage.

Iain Boyd Whyte
From Grove Art Online

© 2009 Oxford University Press

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