"Majolikahaus" in Vienna, by Otto Wagner (1898).
The so-called Majolikahaus, Linken Wienzeile 40 (center), was built in 1898. The façade is decorated with majolica tiles by Wienerberger , decorated with floral motifs. These tiles are weather-resistant, easy to clean and washable — for Otto Wagner hygiene was an important part of modernity. The design for the colorful floral ornamentation extending over the entire width of the façade is by his pupil Alois Ludwig.
There is a gradation of detail and color from the bottom to the top with the green iron base, a gradual increase in complexity of the floral pattern from red to green toward to roof, finally capped with lion heads in relief and an elaborate overhanging eave. The junction between buildings on either side is managed by the use of a zone of balconies. Sills are decorated with foliage, and the overhanging eaves with poppy flowers and green acanthus leaves.
There were several prominent architects who became associated with the Vienna Secession (a distinct variant of Art Nouveau). During this time, architects focused on bringing purer geometric forms into the designs of their buildings. Even though they had their own type of design, the inspiration came from neoclassical architecture, with the addition of leaves and natural motifs. The three main architects of this movement were Josef Hoffmann, Joseph Maria Olbrich, and Otto Wagner. Secessionist architects often decorated the surface of their buildings with linear ornamentation in a form commonly called whiplash or eel style, although Wagner's buildings tended towards greater simplicity and he has been regarded as a pioneer of modernism.
Otto Wagner's Majolika Haus in Vienna (c. 1898) is a significant example of the Austrian use of line.