Apart from the objective to create a new state of the art for Vienna, the design of the store should guarantee a classic timelessness and a solid level.
The concept of BEHF does not only take the city centre´s attractive, individual genius loci as vibrant and highly frequented shopping centre into consideration, but also highlights the historical building structure with inner courtyards and spaces of Austrian history.
Although the store is situated at the interface of Kärntner Straße and Graben, Vienna´s most important shopping promenades in the city centre, and offers a view of Stephansdom and the baroque Donnerbrunnen at Neuer Markt, the two-storey shop orientates itself to a historical monastery garden of the Capuchin Order.
The street bustle and the silence in the gardens frame the store´s “area of life” by including both its street area and its garden courtyard in the structure and the shape.
In accordance with the current use, the historical natural stone facade of the former banking house is interpreted in a new way and glazed in a variety of transparent, semitransparent, mirrored and openable elegant black lacquered portal elements. The idea of translucency and lightness is further continued through movable organza curtains inside the store so that the hidden green colour of the garden courtyard may shimmer through and differentiation of “privacy” and discretion are being felt at the same time.
The hardware of floors, staircases, walls and ceilings remain untreated, smooth concrete surfaces and puristic grey, which are typical features of BEHF.
Two-storey cubes flank the clearly visible, rectangular room situation of both floors. They are handled and covered with reptile leather of precious glove quality. Inside they unfold a surprising, varied and colorful life. Niches, shelves, drawers and fitting rooms are lined with different luxurious materials, such as polished stainless steel or extravagant wallpapers. Similar like dollhouses or stage sets, they are changeable and with many variations. They create unique moods and valuable atmospheres.
Extensive display areas which are covered with fabric and arranged like furniture invite the guest to sit and relax. Their casual and private positioning corresponds to the aesthetic, timeless chandeliers which were exclusively handcrafted for the store in Italy. They enable the differentiation and sensitive control of the lighting atmosphere to different day and opening times.
The innovative and impressively sovereign architectural solutions are due to the building contractor´s professionalism and willingness and do not only demonstrate his openness for possibilities, but bravely define his own position.