Ferstel championed the use of natural materials, and only the finest stone was good enough. The sturdy wrought-iron gates were the work of a silversmith, and the facade is adorned with sculptures by Hanns Gasser. The interior features stucco lustro, ornate paintwork, leather wall coverings and fine wood panelling
The entire construction, including the interior, cost the princely sum of 1,897,600 guilders, or around EUR 25 million in today’s money.
This is even more remarkable in view of the words of the central bank governor of the time, Franz von Pipitz, who demanded that “the construction should be strictly economical and eschew worthless luxury”.
Heinrich von Ferstel died at the age of 51, but the beauty of his designs for Vienna’s Votivkirche church, Museum of Applied Arts and University of Applied Arts, as well as the Palazzo del Lloyd Austriaco in Trieste live on.