PSK - Postal Savings Bank by Otto Wagner. Art Nouveau in Vienna.
Otto Wagner, architect and engineer, can be called the master of Art Nouveau and modernity in Vienna around 1900. His outstanding buildings include the PSK or Postal Savings Bank, Kirche am Steinhof, two tenement houses on Linke Wienzeile 38 & 40, city train stations and the Nussdorfer locks at the mouth of the Danube Canal.
As construction on the Ringstrasse slowly comes to a close Wagner comes into his own. His is a pragmatic functionalism that slowly develops from the Historicism of Hansen to the modernism of the 20th century. Stand in front of the PSK and compare Wagner's building to the pompous enormity of the former War Ministry directly opposite – this was one of the last Ringstrassen buildings to be completed. Wagner used little ornamentation, the granite and marble covered facade of the PSK is dotted with aluminium-covered bolts that hold the slabs in place. This, by the way, is the first time aluminium is used as a construction material, both outside and within a building. The tall, slender heaters inside the main hall are revolutionary.
With the building still in use as a public bank it is open for business during the day, entrance is free. The museum inside the building is dedicated to the great Otto Wagner and is certainly of interest to those interested in architecture and especially Art Nouveau.