Those who follow this blog and/or my tweeting will be well aware of my passion for good coffee in general and Meinl coffee in particular. Another of my interests is the Vienna Secession movement which was a group formed in 1897 by Austrian artists and whose influence can still be seem throughout Vienna today.
Oddly the starting point for my daily train journey to work, on the S-bahn, brings together these two themes. The Hernals station is one of the buildings that formed the Wiener Stadtbahn which operated from 1898 and was designed by the leading Secession movement architect and urban planner Otto Wagner.
Hernals in within a short walk of the Meinl coffee factory and this is (I assume) why the station is the location for these classic coffee posters:
The Hernals staion:
Returning to the subject of coffee, over on the Meinl website (amongst other coffee info) is this delicious quote from a French diplomat about the beautiful drink:
Coffee ought to be hot as hell,
Black as the devil,
Pure as an angel,
Sweet as love.
Charles Maurice Talleyrand
(1754-1838 – French Diplomat)
Much to my surprise our Sunday walk over to the Kirche am Steinhof gave us the opportunity to have a look inside this amazing church building and statement of ‘modernism’ architecture designed by Otto_Wagner’s (1841 -1918) – I had expected the building to be closed as usual.
The Kirche am Stienhof is just one of the architectural structures designed by Wagner (including the S-Bahn, with its wonderful stations, which takes me on my morning journey to work) which help shape and dominate various parts of Vienna. Standing inside the church we couldn’t help but discuss how the buildings modernism is so different to the feel of traditional churches and yet creates its own sense of grandeur equal to many of the English cathedral we’ve wandered through:
You can’t spend time in Vienna without rubbing shoulders with the influence of Gustav Klimt and other members of the Vienna Secession movement. With 2012 being the 150th anniversary of Klimt’s birth the city will see even more exhibitions and events highlighting his work and that of his contemporaries.
In the meantime the Belvedere is kicking things off with a special exhibitions the work of Klimt and Josef Hoffmann. Another reason, if you needed one, to visit Vienna 🙂
I enjoyed our day out at Wohnen & Interier 2011, which the website describes as ‘Austria’s largest fair for interiors, design, accessories, home entertainment and garden’. As the U2 underground stop is literately outside the door of the Messe Exhibition Centre, where the event was being held, I won the argument to leave the car at home.
We’ve attended this event once before, about seven years ago. One of the differences that struck me today was how the green credentials of exhibitors’ products were much more a standard part of any sell – rather than the exceptional or unique selling point they had been in the past (and many of the products on my last visit lacked even a hint of green). How times have changed and although one can question the value or impact of some of this ‘greening’, I personally think the planets a bit better for it and ironically consumerism is served by a better range (and quality) of products.
It can be a small world. The one exhibitor who really attracted my attention and potential future business was a company that might be able to us with greener energy options for the house. As the discussion progressed we discovered that the offices of this company are in Krems which happens to be where R works these days.
Luckily the world is full of people with varied tastes and ideas about style and what constitutes good design. For me the down side of the exhibition was that from my perspective much of what was on show as unoriginal, whether you looked towards the traditional or modern ends of the spectrum. There were of course exceptions and some of the exhibitors provided me with imaginative ideas and images of great design.
All in all, as we left the event, the consensus was that it had been an enjoyable day but one to be repeated every second or even third year.