Vienna

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 20 April, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 20 April, 2008, 12:00am
 

The 21st century must have come as a shock to the leisurely Viennese. Thankfully the MAK Design Shop (5 Stubenring, tel: 43 171 136 228) is there to restore the balance. A carafe-style wine bottle (below left; Euro53/HK$646) and matching glasses (Euro21 each) recall simpler times. The brand's lamps (right; Euro150), meanwhile, will brighten up your life with bold block colours and swirling psychedelic bases.

If you're planning a complete overhaul of your home, a visit to Das Mobel (11 Gumpendorferstrasse, tel: 43 192 438 34) is a must. The company's designs are laid out in a huge showroom, giving the feel of an actual apartment, with areas designated as bedrooms, bathrooms and offices.

If that's too much to take in, head for Woka (16 Singerstrasse, tel: 43 151 329 12; www.woka.at), which carries classy reproductions of work by Austrian legends such as Adolf Loos as well as distinctive (and expensive) originals. The handmade white bulb that descends from a brass fixture is good value at US$766, although some may find it a bit too reminiscent of the 1980s. For more demure homes, pick up something from the 50s and 60s range, such as the cubic white nickel-painted lamp (US$912), which is clean and modernist.

The Viennese are renowned for producing glasswear that feels heavy but looks delicate. Lobmeyr (26 Karntnerstrasse, tel: 43 151 205 08) was once a purveyor to the Austrian imperial court. Even if you're not planning to buy anything, the shop, with its golden chandeliers and art deco columns, is worth a visit.

While Lobmeyr stays loyal to Vienna's opulent design heritage, Trash-Design Manufaktur, which is available at Team Idee (10 Eitnergasse, tel: 43 149 326 96 71), promotes modern, environmentally conscious design.

This collective makes its products out of things we throw away. The metallic coffee table (Euro369), constructed from discarded washing machine drums, looks like a science-fiction creation, and who'd have thought old computer components would make such funky key rings (Euro10)?

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