The Vienna Lounge at Art Basel in Miami Beach

Words by Carla Ingrasciotta
November 25, 2019

The Vienna Lounge was designed by award-winning Viennese design studio EOOS. Its design pays homage to Adolf Loos, the radical representative of Viennese Modernism whose 150th birthday will be celebrated in 2020, and to the movement’s elegant and minimalist interiors. Selected glass objects from the Loos collection of Lobmeyr re-create the feeling of the iconic Loos American Bar from 1908, which is still open in Vienna today. Soft lighting further creates an inviting ambiance for patrons, as respite from the necessarily brilliant lighting of the fair. Embossed gold lettering on marble surfaces lends a generous impression of space. A WOKA chandelier, originally designed by Adolf Loos for the Viennese coffeehouse “Café Museum” in 1899, graces the bar. Viennese wine from the vintner Mayer am Pfarrplatz will be served daily, including their Beethoven Viennese White 2018 (Wiener Gemischter Satz DAC, Grüner Veltliner 2018) and Pinot Noir 2017. In 1817, Ludwig van Beethoven resided in the historic house of Mayer am Pfarrplatz while working on his Symphony N° 9. To honor the composer’s 250th birthday in 2020, the winery Mayer am Pfarrplatz created a special wine edition, arguably as lively as the famous symphony.

In the Botanical Garden, The Vienna Coffeehouse, also designed by Viennese design studio EOOS, will immerse visitors in the lush palms while they enjoy Viennese coffee. The pavilion disappears through mirrors dematerialized in the landscape of the Botanical Garden. A carefully applied ‘birdpen’ stripe pattern on the mirrors’ surface is recognized by birds so there is no risk of them flying into it, while being nearly invisible to the human eye. The image of the coffeehouse is created by the use of the traditional bentwood furniture. Coffee partner Julius Meinl, a family business for over 150 years, evokes Viennese coffeehouse culture worldwide – which was added to the UNESCO list of intangible cultural heritage in 2011.

In The Vienna Lounge and The Vienna Coffeehouse, music by Beethoven will be played. Renowned classical musicians Aleksey Igudesman and Julian Rachlin have reinterpreted favorite Beethoven compositions, with tracks entitled “Beethoven Takes Five” and “For A Lease” that can be heard at The Vienna Lounge whereas in The Vienna Coffeehouse original compositions recorded by the Wiener Symphoniker will be played. A preview into the city of Vienna’s robust 2020 musical offerings, on the festive occasion of the 250th anniversary of Ludwig van Beethoven’s birth will be on hand.

The Vienna Lounge and The Vienna Coffeehouse reference the city’s pillars of environmentally conscious community-centric artisanal design, utilizing sustainable materials and plentiful public green space. A staggering 53% of Vienna is public green space. Key design elements from the 2018 lounge have been repurposed to consciously craft a minimally wasteful space, while offering new elements based on how guests enjoyed the previous spaces. The seating areas are ample and offer different appealing options for sharing a drink and connecting, from the lounge to the coffeehouse. Public green space, cafés, and elegant bars are staples of Viennese community and culture.

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