Last edited 09 Nov 2020



Waldspirale, ‘Forest spiral’, is a residential building complex located in Darmstadt, Germany. It was designed by Austrian artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser and completed in 2000.

The U-shaped building curves round to partially enclose a courtyard, while the façade subverts the notion of regular grid organisation. It features gilded onion domes on the roof, colourful ceramic columns and more than 1,000 windows, all of which are uniquely shaped.

Typical of Hundertwasser’s naturalistic style, the building is an almost absolute rejection of rectangular forms and straight lines in favour of smooth angles and corners.

Along the roof, which inclines like a diagonal around the U-shape of the building, are planted beech, maple and lime trees. The layers of sedimentary rock found at the site are reflected on the building’s façade in bands of ceramic tiles and multi-coloured stucco in earthy tones.

As a pioneer of modern vegetated roofs, Hundertwasser said: “Grass and vegetation in the city should grow on all horizontal spaces - that is to say, wherever rain and snow falls vegetation should grow, on the roads and on the roofs.”


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