Harald Gach with Karl Marx Hof in Lego
© Harald Gach/www.viennabricks.at

Build your own Vienna

In real life, the famous Karl Marx Hof is more than a kilometer long. However, in the world of Harald Gach, a freelance artist from Vienna, the epitome of architecture for the Red Vienna of the 1920s measures just 45 centimeters in length and is 12 centimeters tall. "The model is made from exactly 890 pieces of Lego," says Gach, putting a number of his version of the monumental structure. But the Karl Marx Hof is far from being the only historic Viennese building that Gach has created out of Lego bricks. There are currently dozens of them.

From classic to modern

Gach has also replicated Parliament, the State Opera, the Karlskirche (Church of St. Charles) and Otto Wagner's Church of St. Leopold in colorful plastic bricks as well as lesser known historic buildings such as Palais Fraenkel in the 8th district and Theophil Hansen's Palais Erzherzog Wilhelm. He has also been inspired by classics of the 20th century. His collection of impressive Viennese architecture, which he presents at www.viennabricks.at, also includes the high-rise Hochhaus Herrengasse from the 1930s, the Wien Museum designed by Oswald Haerdtl in the 1950s, and Karl Schwanzer's Philips House on the Wienerberg from the 1960s.

Days of planning

It all started five years ago. The initial spark came from his passion for photography. Gach: "Playing with perspective, concentrating on structures and details, simply fascinates me." And Lego was always part of the equation. "My parents had hours of peace with me," says Gach laughing. How long does he need to complete his models? "The planning phase always takes up most of the time. That can often be several days. Building the model takes between 30 minutes and six hours." The exceptional circumstances of recent weeks were good for his creativity: "The quarantine made me particularly productive."

Run aground on the Burgtheater

In any case there's still a great deal more for him to do. Right at the top of the to-do list are Otto Wagner's Austrian Post Savings Bank and another structure from the Red Vienna era in the form of the Bundesrealgymnasium Erlgasse in Meidling. But failure is also part of the game: "I simply can't achieve the Burgtheater on a reasonable scale. Sometimes, however, it takes a few tries and some time out for it to suddenly come together," explains Gach. So the Burgtheater isn't entirely out of the race just yet. Is he sometimes met with amazement when he talks about his unusual building activity? "Strangely, no. And when people see some of the models, they are often speechless."

The models by Harald Gach are also available to buy. An overview of all the buildings can be found at www.viennabricks.at.

Karl-Marx-Hof

Heiligenstädter Strasse 82-92, 1190 Wien
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Steinhof Church (Kirche am Steinhof)

Baumgartner Höhe 1 , 1140 Wien
  • Opening times

    • Sa, 16:00 - 17:00
    • Su, 12:00 - 16:00
    • Sunday and Holiday 9.30 a.m. Mass
  • Guided tours

    • Saturday

      • 3 p.m. 

      Sunday

      • 4 p.m.

      Wednesday (April to October)

      • 2 p.m. art nouveau guided tour
  • Accessibility

    • Main entrance
      • 12 Steps
    • Side entrance
      • no steps
        Back entrance on north side
    • Further information
      • Seeing eye dogs allowed
    • Comments

      Interior: no steps

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Vienna State Opera (Wiener Staatsoper)

Opernring 2, 1010 Wien
  • Accessibility

    • Side entrance
      • 2 Steps (Swinging doors 87 cm wide )
        Side entrance on right under the arcades on Herbert-von-Karajan-Platz. From side entrance, access to elevator via inclined elevator (stairlift) in lobby.
    • Car parks Main entrance
      • Parking spaces for people with disabilities
        Operngasse, Opernring intersection
    • Elevator available
      • 95 cm wide and 140 cm low , Door 80 cm wide
    • Further information
      • Seeing eye dogs allowed
      • 22 Wheelchair spaces available (4 in the stalls/orchestra, 18 seats in the gallery as needed)
      • Wheelchair accessible restroom available.
    • Special offers for people with disabilities

      Tours in ten languages, prior notification for wheelchair users necessary (Tel. +43 1 514 44–2606). Language display.

    • Comments

      Portable ramps available for steps inside building.
      To reserve wheelchair and companion seats for performances, tel. +43 1 514 44-2653 (Mo-Fri, 9.00 am – 4.00 pm)

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St. Charles' Church (Karlskirche)

Karlsplatz , 1040 Wien
  • Vienna City Card

  • Opening times

    • Mo, 09:00 - 18:00
    • Tu, 09:00 - 18:00
    • We, 09:00 - 18:00
    • Th, 09:00 - 18:00
    • Fr, 09:00 - 18:00
    • Sa, 09:00 - 18:00
    • Su, 12:00 - 19:00
    • on holidays, 12:00 - 19:00
  • Accessibility

    • Main entrance
      • 14 Steps ( Door  300  cm  wide )
        Heavy wooden door
    • Side entrance
      • no steps (Automatic sliding doors )
        Argentinierstraße (Ramp)
    • Further information
      • Seeing eye dogs allowed
    • Special offers for people with disabilities

      Visitors with ID for persons with special needs: free entry and elevator to the panorama.

    • Comments

      Interior: 11 steps. Ask staff for assistance.

      Last elevator showing of the cupola: 17:30 and Sun & public holidays 18:30.

       

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High Rise Herrengasse

Herrengasse 6-8, 1010 Wien
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Wien Museum Karlsplatz

Karlsplatz, 1040 Wien
  • Comments

    • The Wien Museum Karlsplatz is closed due to renovation. During the modernization the Wien Museum MUSA will also serve as a venue for thematic exhibits on Vienna’s cultural history.

  • Vienna City Card

  • Prices

    • Young people under 19   €0
    • Free admission on first Sunday of the month
  • Opening times

    • Closed due to renovation.
  • Accessibility

    • Main entrance
      • no steps (Double swinging doors   179  cm  wide )
        via ramp
    • Car parks Main entrance
      • Parking spaces for people with disabilities
        directly behind the museum (Maderstrasse), access to the museum: no steps
    • Elevator available
    • Further information
      • Seeing eye dogs allowed
      • Wheelchair accessible restroom available.
    • Special offers for people with disabilities

      Wheelchair for rental, seats available. Permanent exhibition tours for visually impaired visitors by prior arrangement (Tel. +43 1 505 87 47-85 180). Overview map in large print available.

    • Comments

      The exhibition area is accessible via elevator (orientation with Braille) and deducible with the wheelchair.

       

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Palais Ephrussi

Universitätsring 14, 1010 Wien
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mumok – Museum of Modern Art Ludwig Foundation Vienna in the MuseumsQuartier

Museumsplatz 1 , 1070 Wien
  • Vienna City Card

  • Prices

    • Young people under 19   €0,00
  • Opening times

    • Mo, 14:00 - 19:00
    • Tu, 10:00 - 19:00
    • We, 10:00 - 19:00
    • Th, 10:00 - 21:00
    • Fr, 10:00 - 19:00
    • Sa, 10:00 - 19:00
    • Su, 10:00 - 19:00
  • Accessibility

    • Main entrance
      • no steps (Swinging doors   120  cm  wide )
    • Elevator available
      • 90 cm wide and 140 cm low
    • Further information
      • Wheelchair accessible restroom available.
    • Comments

      Main and side entrance as well as restaurant/café: accessible via elevator.

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