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What is a “Zinshaus”?

The definition of the traditional Viennese apartment building

The Wilhelminian period, buoyed by the emerging upper middle class, was the era of Vienna’s development into an international metropolis. The period buildings in historicist style characterise the magnificent cityscape to this day. What all the apartment buildings have in common is their solid construction method and the superior quality of the materials used. High ceilings, double doors, and entrances decorated in stucco with magnificent cast iron railings are some of the characteristics that provide residents with first-class quality of life. The flair of a period apartment with its beautiful herringbone parquet floors, prominent box-type windows, and charming wood panelling on the walls and ceilings is still beyond comparison.

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The structure of a Zinshaus

Explore the characteristic architectural features

Aufbau eines Zinshauses - The Masterpiece | 3SI Immogroup
Cornice Decorative and stucco features Decorative and stucco features Bay window Decorative and stucco features Decorative and stucco features Decorative and stucco features Decorative and stucco features Decorative and stucco features Decorative and stucco features Bay window Decorative and stucco features Decorative and stucco features Decorative and stucco features Decorative and stucco featurese Decorative and stucco features Decorative and stucco featurese Decorative and stucco featurese Bay window Bay window Decorative and stucco features Decorative and stucco features Decorative and stucco features Decorative and stucco features Decorative and stucco features Decorative and stucco featurese Decorative and stucco features Bay window Bay window French balcony Decorative and stucco features French balcony French balcony French balcony Decorative and stucco features French balcony Bay window Bay window Cordon Plinth course Plinth course Plinth course Plinth course Plinth course Plinth course Lesene Plinth course Plinth course Plinth course Plinth course Plinth course Plinth course

A traditional apartment building, or Zinshaus, usually has four to six floors and a decorated facade, some more elaborate than others, often with opulent stucco ornamentation. In order to circumvent tax regulations, mezzanines were used to reduce the number of floors on paper. Thus, by adding a souterrain (semi-basement) or a mezzanine (known in German as a Hochparterre, Mezzanin, or Halbstock, depending on the context), the actual number of floors was increased. These mezzanines are characterised by low ceilings and, sometimes, smaller areas than the full floors of an apartment building.

Discover the architectural details of a Viennese apartment building by taking a closer look at the individual elements of the facade in the picture to the right.

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The different eras of the Zinshaus

The evolution of the Wilhelminian style building in Vienna

  • Epoche Frühgründerzeit - Zinshaus | 3SI Immogroup

    The early Wilhelminian period

    1840–1870

    More and more apartment buildings, or Zinshäuser, started to be constructed around 1840, especially in the Vorstadt areas. The major achievement was a change in the parcelling system away from the traditional division towards a more rectangular shape. The number of floors was increased to four or five floors.

    These apartment buildings were characterised by facades with little decoration that come together to form relatively uniform “street walls”.

  • Epoche Hochgründerzeit - Zinshaus | 3SI Immogroup

    The high Wilhelminian period

    1870–1890

    The beginning of the high Wilhelminian era also marked a change in the stylistic demands on the apartment buildings. For the first time, there was a clear division of the building structure and the connection of several floors through the use of superimposed columns. The facades of prestigious buildings were inspired by the style of the Italian High Renaissance, and it was during this period that the typical Viennese Wilhelminian villas in the posh districts on the outskirts of the city were built.

  • Epoche Spätgründerzeit - Zinshaus | 3SI Immogroup

    The late Wilhelminian period

    1890–1918

    Around 1890 the Gürtel, or ring road, was built and suburbs were incorporated as part of the city’s second stage of expansion. Characteristic of the apartment building of the late Wilhelminian period was a double wing floor plan, with connecting street and courtyard wings on deeper lots. In addition, more and more apartment buildings in the city centre included a street-side courtyard, i.e., a recessed middle wing, similar to the court of honour of a baroque palace.

  • Epoche Frühgründerzeit - Zinshaus | 3SI Immogroup
  • Epoche Hochgründerzeit - Zinshaus | 3SI Immogroup
  • Epoche Spätgründerzeit - Zinshaus | 3SI Immogroup

With a passion for period buildings

We will give your apartment building a secure future

Zinshausbesichtigung in Wien - Christian Ziegler, Michael Schmidt, Markus Steinböck | 3SI Immogroup
Zinshausbesichtigung in Wien - Christian Ziegler, Michael Schmidt, Markus Steinböck | 3SI Immogroup
Zinshausbesichtigung in Wien - Christian Ziegler, Michael Schmidt, Markus Steinböck | 3SI Immogroup
Zinshausbesichtigung in Wien - Christian Ziegler, Michael Schmidt, Markus Steinböck | 3SI Immogroup

From the magnificent facade to the charming interior to the unique existing structure – every apartment building has its own flair. The history of the building lends it a certain special appeal which can be felt in every corner. For decades we have been investing with passion in the renovation of apartment buildings and the stylish design of period apartments. We see it as our responsibility to preserve historic Wilhelminian apartment buildings for future generations and to maintain the beautiful cityscape of Vienna for eternity.

 

Are you planning on selling your apartment building?

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Zinshaus in Wien | 3SI Immogroup

» A period building like a vintage car or good wine only gets better with age. «

Harald, Michael und Claus Schmidt

Do you have any further questions?

We have put together answers to the most frequently asked questions on the topic of Zinshäuser (i.e., historic apartment buildings)

  • What is a “Zinshaus”?

  • What does the word “Altbau” or “period building” mean?

  • How can I determine the value of an apartment building?

  • How is the condition of an apartment building assessed?

  • How much does it cost to renovate an entire apartment building?

  • How much does it cost to renovate the facade of an apartment building?

  • Is my apartment building listed?

  • What do owners of listed apartment buildings need to be aware of?

  • What is the “Friedens(kronen)zins”?

  • What is the “assessed value”?

3SI-special for apartment house owners

Tips and information on apartment buildings

Zinshausseminar: Zinshaus in der Steuerfalle

We would be happy to share our many decades of experience with you. Our 3SI apartment building experts provide you with their expertise and our knowledge in the form of guides on the topic of apartment buildings.

Soon you will be able to find our 3SI guides and folders here for download.

Contact

We look forward to seeing you!

News & Presseberichte zum Thema „Zinshaus“

Informationen & Fakten: Wir halten Sie auf dem Laufenden

Contact

We look forward to hearing from you!

You are welcome to contact us by phone or through our contact form.

Phone number : +43 1 6075858