Josef Hoffmann was born on December 15, 1870 in Brtnice Pirnitz, in Monrovia and died on May 7, 1956 in Austria. This Austrian born architect designer began his career early in his life having been born in a house which exhibited great design works. This he did after his parent’s death where he designed new furniture. The rooms of his home also were decorated in bright colours.
After he undertook his grammar training in Jihlava in the Technical College in B
rno, Josef Hoffmann took one year to study building practice. He worked with the Austria military planning authority for a while in Wuzburg and later went back to school. He first went to the Fine Arts Academy in Vienna and graduated with a Prix de Rome in 1895. He worked with a few people during that period, among them Otto Wagner and Karl Freiherr von Hasanauer.
In 1897, while still working with Otto Wagner, Josef Hoffmann met Josef Maria Olbrich. They subsequently joined hands and came up with the Vienna secession. With time, the Vienna secession incorporated other artists including Gustav Klimit and Koloman Moser. They all worked together with a common goal of developing exhibitions for the Vienna Secession. It is at this time that Josef thought about installation of spaces for the Vienna Secession and later the house for Moser which was completed in 1903.
Internal wrangles within the Vienna Secession over the Gesamtkunstwerk premise led Josef Hoffman and other artists to quit the Secession in 1905. They also differed with environmentalists over imaginative visions of the group. Immediately after he left the Vienna Secession, Josef Hoffmann joined hands with fellow artist Moser Koloman and one of his banker friends, Fritz Warndorfer and together they managed to institute the Wiener Werkstatte. This establishment lasted for a long time until 1932.
It is under Wiemner Werkstatte that Josef Hoffmann designed many of the products that defined his legacy. The designs that stood the test of time included chairs, sets of glasses and a lamp. Some of these designs like the sets of glasses have been preserved in the museum of Modern art.
With time as he progressed in his career, Josef Hoffman concentrated more on domestic products and practical structures. To portray the change of time and that he was a step ahead of his time, Hoffman built the Sanatorim in Purkersdorf. This building portrayed his artistic modernity. With the Sanatorium building, Josef Hoffmann set the pace for most of the buildings that were designed within the twentieth century. It was an inspiration to many architectural works thereafter.
Due to his outstanding work, Josef Hoffmann got a contract to build Palais Stoclet in Brussels that lasted for 6 years from 1905 to 1911. Josef got this contract from a renowned banker and the then financier of the railway line in Austria.
He co-founded the Deutscher Wekbund in 1907 after which he rested until the end of World War II, where he worked as the Austrian general commissioner with Venice Biennale, and with that he became a member of the art senate.