Josef Hoffmann
Timeless Genius



Josef Hoffmann , born in 1870, studied architecture under Carl von Hasenauer and Otto Wagner at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna. In 7899, at the age of 29, he became a professor at what is now the University of Applied Arts Vienna. In 1903 he and Kolo Moser established the Wiener Werkstätte. His first important building, the sanatorium in Purkersdorf, near Vienna, built in 1904, set radical new standards in architecture and interior design.

“I admit everything practical and necessary, but I also think that we always have a duty to give pleasure. This joy is the principal purpose of our existence.”

But it was the Palais Stoclet in Brussels, built between 1905 and 1911, that founded his international reputation. Here, Josef Hoffmann succeeded in perfecting the Gesamtkunstwerk (total work of art), reconciling art and life, and aestheticizing all aspects of design..

Josef Hoffmann’s formal language is primarily characterized by strict geometrical lines, a search for simplicity, and the typical reduction to black and white. He overcame the duality of tradition and modernity and created works that are valid to this day. This timeless quality remains an inspiration and defining influence for the Wittmann Workshops. Josef Hoffmann died in Vienna in 1956. Franz Wittmann Möbelwerkstätten have been given sole authorization by the Josef Hoffmann Stiftung to manufacture the furniture of Josef Hoffmann according to his original designs.