Die story of the Börse
Can you imagine Vienna during the construction of the Ringstraße? The whole area was a construction site for many years. Fortifications being demolished, buildings under construction everywhere, and plans for more construction being prepared. During this period, many architects made a name for themselves building several buildings and leaving their mark in the city. One of those who distinguished himself was the Danish Architect Theophil von Hansen. After many years working in Athens he moved to Vienna in 1846 and became a prolific architect in his own right. Hansen’s time in Athens influenced his vision of colors, materials, and forms and this inspiration is evident in his buildings. Hansen’s first public building on the Ringstraße was the Börse (the Stock Exchange) where he successfully prevented, most of the time, budget constraints, agreed plans, or timelines from stopping him in pursuing his ideas of splendor. He even used his own money to cover the costs of works that he believed were necessary for the building. It is because of these ideas that his financiers followed his progress closely as it was believed that “the architect thinks first about the beauty of the building”. Hansen could not always prevent outside influence and this led to the use of low-quality material here and there and compromises to the interior design that were necessary to limit the costs. Eventually, after 1 year delay and 1 million gulden over budget, the Börse was ready to be inaugurated by the Kaiser in 1877. The Börse survived the second world war with some damages that were refurbished, but a fire in April 1956 completely destroyed its main hall, which was not restored during reparation works. Today, the Börse does not fulfil the functions for which it was built and instead houses several business offices. Soon you will have a chance to visit the Börse and learn more about its history and architecture while getting a feeling for Hansen’s inspiration.
As part of the Open House Wien 2017, the Börse will be open for visitors on Saturday September 9 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. There will be tours in German and English. Don’t miss this opportunity! (Cr). For more information visit: http://www.openhouse-wien.at/de/boersegebaeude.html