Otto Wagner, the famous Jugendstil architect, built a summerhouse for himself and his family in Hütteldorf in 1888, when Hütteldorf was still a suburb of Vienna. The house was inhabited all year round from 1895 until Otto Wagner sold it to the former owner of the Varieté Ronacher, Ben Tiber, in 1911, after Wagner's children had left home and the house had become too large for him. The Wagner Villa (later called Ben Tiber Villa and today Fuchs Villa) was considered an unusual building from the outset. As reported at the exhibition of the plans in Berlin: "The artist's villa in Hütteldorf near Vienna has a peculiar attraction. The house, built on a slope and accessed by an imposing staircase, takes the form of an open hall between two wings in complete contrast to other buildings of its type". Although the building attracted much interest at its conception (and from time to time was the cause of rumour and speculation), it slowly fell into oblivion, as did its architect. The villa stood "decaying with dignity in the garden" until Ernst Fuchs' initiative to save the building.
Photographs by Otto Rapp, taken during his visit in the Summer of 2008