Vienna is beautiful! Outside and inside
Vienna is not only worth a visit for its warm-hearted people and rich culture. Its architecture and the typical style of furnishing, which reflects the sociability of the Viennese, deserves more than a glance.
The Art Nouveau characterizes the face of the city
Vienna is much more than cozy and baroque, even if the Viennese waltz is a buzzword that comes to mind to many people in the context of the city. But the Austrian capital is also modern and avant-garde, and this modern spirit has left its mark everywhere in the city. We are talking about Art Nouveau, the revolutionary architectural style, the meaning of which many visitors are unaware of. We admire the floral decorated and lovingly created buildings and trace their builders. Don’t you feel the same?
A house conceived in Art Nouveau looks fascinating and attractive. Here in Vienna, the juxtaposition of Art Nouveau and modern architecture creates an exciting contrast that almost leaves the observer between times. But what are the backgrounds of the playful architectural style?
The Art Nouveau and its meaning
Before Art Nouveau entered the stage of the Zeitgeist, Biedermeier and historicism prevailed on the streets and in the heads. Both brought with them an unnatural transfiguration of the past and caused an eternal hanging in old times. This is how it was in Europe until the Art Nouveau swept through the streets and heads and finally cleared away with the old times. Fort with the heavy and earthy back, forth with the delicate floral and geometric patterns! The new language of form was more than just a pretty adornment of the cityscape: its background was an avant-garde school of thought, which deliberately broke with the traditions. It was looking for something new, thus distinguishing itself from historicism, which wept after the monarchy and always copied only the stylistic elements of the past. The Art Nouveau brought with it a new objectivity and not only enriched the appearance of the city, but swept even into the mind of the people.
The architectural pioneer was the Viennese Otto Wagner, whose thoughts can still be read today in his work: "The Architecture of Our Time." His spirit still blows through the streets of Vienna today, even though he and his colleagues could not prevail across the board. Nonetheless, there are buildings throughout the city that are both impressive and noteworthy: Wagner & Co created homes, townhouses, shops, train stations and even a Catholic Art Nouveau church.
Buildings that have not survived have now been restored. The good condition of the houses and the architectural variety make Vienna one of the capitals of the Art Nouveau style, which every year attracts crowds of tourists and art lovers. They roam the streets, make a pilgrimage from building to building, and browse flea markets for forgotten treasures. Yes, the charm of Vienna can be difficult to escape, once you have tasted its air and let the senses of visual pleasures, delicious food and stimulating conversations intoxicated.
The Viennese Art Nouveau and its peculiarity
Elsewhere, the Art Nouveau style prevailed, for example in Brussels or Glasgow, where floral motifs were preferred, but in Vienna they loved the clear structures of geometric elements. This was reflected not only in the houses, but also in the products of the Wiener Werkstätte, founded in 1903, in which all sorts of everyday objects were made, from fabric to chairs to cutlery. These goods worked in the finest Art Nouveau could only afford a wealthy clientele; Perhaps that is why the Wiener Werkstätte only survived until 1932. Many of the pieces can today be admired in the Museum of Applied Arts or in the Leopold Museum in the Museumsquartier.
Vienna Tourist Board also focuses on Viennese Modernism in 2018, as the year 2018 marks the 100th anniversary of the death of Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele, Otto Wagner and Koloman Moser.
And in the houses?
Finding a typical Viennese furniture is not easy, but if you still want to bring the flair of Vienna back to your home, you can be inspired by the interior of the world-famous coffee houses. Here, above all, value is placed on high-quality materials that pamper the visitor with an appealing ambience. If you want to imitate this in your let’s say living room, you can put on furniture made of solid wood, which may also be a bit darker. These are the most beautiful, if they come from sustainable forestry, which ensures that we still have a forest to farm tomorrow. If you want to be careful when buying, look for the FSC or PEFC seal. Incidentally, solid wood furniture is back in fashion and is gradually replacing the mass-produced disposable furniture - perhaps this marks a turning point in the era as well as the advent of Art Nouveau?
Really comfortable it becomes with cozy seatings, especially since you usually stay longer at home than in the coffee house. Pretty chairs or a chaise longue invite you to linger and lively conversations, which you can certainly lead in your own four walls - especially if you once experienced in Vienna, how stimulating and pleasant that can be. Following the example of the Viennese Salons.
Light plays an equally important role in any setting. Magnificent Art Nouveau chandeliers with glass shades or goblets create a beautiful atmosphere, as does a lavishly decorated chandelier that adds a sophisticated look to your living room. So you almost feel like in Vienna, even if you are already home.
The walls in the classic coffee houses are mostly dark paneled. On the one hand, this protects the walls, but on the other hand it also creates a calm and homely mood. You can also mimic this effect at home with a dark wallpaper that only partially disguises your walls. Now you only need a few mirrored elements on the wall and you're one step closer to a typical Viennese atmosphere.
Invite friends and revitalize your salon with lively conversations about literature and the current affairs! And think of Vienna, which already eagerly awaits your next visit.
This article was created in cooperation with the external editor Elke Becker.