A real highlight of the recent trip Darrell and I took to Europe was to go and have a look at some of the famous Hundertwasser buildings around Vienna, Austria. We visited Hundertwasserhaus, which is a social housing apartment block. We also tried to visit Kunst Haus Wein, the Hundertwasser Museum, which was unfortunately closed due to urgent work required on the building. The other amazing place we spent a couple of days relaxing at was Rogner Bad Blumau, a Hundertwasser-themed thermal resort which all of the room interiors, the residential buildings, the restaurant, pools, and everything else around the resort are Hundertwasser-themed, with the build designed and supervised by Friedensreich Hundertwasser himself.
Seeing these Hundertwasser buildings in person was fantastic, and I now understand the fascination. The crowds never stopped turning up to look at Hundertwasserhaus, a private apartment block that you can’t even get inside!
We also enjoyed coffee and cake with Joram Harel, who protects Hundertwasser’s intellectual property. We had a great time chatting with him and telling him how proud we are of what has been achieved by local companies in Whangarei to build the Hundertwasser Art Centre.
I can see why Darrell and the crew returned from their study tour at the beginning of the project in 2018, energised and keen to get stuck in. It all just reinforced to me how special the gift of this building was for the city of Whangarei, and the proof is how the town basin area has been upgraded recently to accommodate the many cruise ship passengers that will be stopping in from January 2024, something that Whangarei has never seen before.