While Theophil Hansen stood for Historicism, the architectural style characteristic of the Vienna Ringstrasse, his disciple Otto Wagner, who had been encouraged by Hansen to become an architect and promoted by him in his early years, left Viennese Historicism behind and became known not only for his pioneering design of such buildings as that of the Postal Savings Bank (Postsparkasse) but also for his theoretical writings and for training a large number of outstanding students at the Academy of Architecture, thus spearheading Modernism in architecture.

Hansen, on the other hand, was the creator of an architectural masterpiece, the Vienna Parliament Building, which is seen by many as the most significant monument to Historicist architecture during the Ringstrasse era.