Raumgestaltung und Entwerfen, raumgestaltung.tuwien.ac.at
TU Wien, Architektur und Entwerfen, Karlsplatz 13/253.3, 1040 Wien

Großes Entwerfen Viennese Cafés: Urban Interior, Public Salon


This design studio will focus on a unique Viennese phenomenon: the Café House. Far from being merely a place for the consumption of coffee, the Viennese Café is a social-spatial phenomenon that serves the city’s dwellers as an extended living room. As such, it is also a space of domestic activity and intellectual exchange. This semester, we will study the architecture of these institutions in order to understand how they function as interior urbanism, expanding the streets of the city into the dimly-lit booths of the Café, with their partially-curtained windows. At the same time, the possibility of spending unlimited time at the Café makes it into a public salon, where one can play cards, billiard, and meet friends in a semi-intimate setting. While UNESCO declared the Viennese coffee houses as part of the world’s intangible heritage, this studio will focus on its tangible features, tracing the architectural evolution of the Café, from its interior fittings ranging from their role in the urban expansion of the city of Vienna.

This semester will be dedicated to observing and analysing these aspects of the Cafés, as well as a typological study of their layout and morphology. Students will begin the semester by analysing specific case studies in Vienna in order to read the cultural and socio-historical role of the coffee house in conjunction with the developments in art, architecture and urban planning in Vienna in the 18th and 19th centuries and up to the present day.



This is a design studio, which will integrate theoretical and curatorial considerations. The final project will be to design an exhibition to an international audience at the Austrian pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale. For that purpose, the semester will be divided into two phases: the first would be an analysis of the Viennese Coffee House through drawings, models, photography and film. This initial research phase will produce visual material that would be used to realise the exhibition, including drawings to scale models (as well as 1:1 details). For this project, groups will deal with curatorial, spatial, and practical questions of
display design.

Weekly lectures:
In parallel to the research and design phases of the studio, students will be asked to prepare a weekly lecture (in pairs, once per semester) on a topic of their choice, for example The history of certain cafes, the use of materials such as marble and velvet, the destruction of cafes in the 1950s, entry of Women and Jews to the Cafes over the years, cafe “regulars” and literary figures, and so on.



Wilfried Kuehn
Lisi Zeininger
Gili Merin


Weitere Informationen

Kick-off: Do, 02. März 2023 im Seminarraum CHEG, 10.00 Uhr