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Two of our favourite cities collude in the Austrian Capital Vienna and Stockholm. Infamous Swedish design company Svenskt Tenn in Stockholm has teamed up with the artistic merits of the Hotel Altstadt in Vienna to install a tribute suite to fellow Austrian architect and master of modernism and applied arts – Josef Frank. Mid-century design originality is framed by botanicals in this coolest of Vienna’s luxe hotel suites - tulips, scillas, hyacinths, daisies, violets, anemones and forget-me-nots are set to a soft taupe canvas showcasing the genius of Josef Frank and Swedish modernism.
Austrian-born Josef Frank will be best known for his bold signature patterns, creating textile prints that still pervade today in their flagship store in Stockholm.
His legacy of architecture and design continues to influence international thought today, and following a recent exhibition series in his former home town, Vienna, Hotel Altstadt set about exploring a possible collaboration under the motto “bringing the essence of Josef Frank back to Vienna” with Svenskt Tenn – just as the man himself had once collaborated with the brand in 1933 before joining the iconic founder Estrid Ericson a year later. This is his Swedish legacy.
This fusion of talent is reflected in the new suite - itself a masterstroke in the purity of design – it is bold, simple, elegant, light and eye-candy beautiful, created by the chief interior designer of Svenskt Tenn – Jennie Pineus. Josef Frank’s suite captures his magical touch with the purity of Estrid's impeccable eye for detail - fusing nicely with the Viennese grandeur and their signature expression of Swedish Modern. Highlights include the fabulously elegant Cabinet 522, a textile Mahogany piece that takes pride of place in the suite marking Frank’s signature adaptation of the 1930s British trend of covering furnishings in fabric. Of course, Frank took this to another level, creating his wondrously named decorative textile, Celotocaulis (Caulis from the Latin for flower stalk and Celoto, an Asian flower species).
We love the bespoke bed frame and stunning statement headboard covered in Frank’s Primavera 315 Linen, designed in the 1920s and celebrating an Italian spring dressed in flowers and fauna. Framing the bed are the simplistic Oolong side tables designed by Eva Schildt.
Another more recent iconic design accessory are a coat hanger and bellhop in mahogany and brass from Michael Anastassiades that stand in the corner, described as “A silent valet to hold your clothes and jewellery”.
The bed sits on a carpet called "The Square of Chessboard” originally designed in 1940’s by Margit Thorén, and dominating the lounge aspect of the suite and showcasing Frank’s whimsical nature is the so called “Monster Carpet” which he created in the 1950’s.
Josef Frank was no fan of game hunting, and he designed several carpets with the purpose of replacing real animal skins. His carpets often resembled stone-paved terraces or abstract motifs. While flowers and birds were not to be tramped upon, you could possibly tramp upon beasts. A 1930s Frank-designed Day Bed 775 in white adds a layer of opulence to the lounge, flanked by his Easy Chair 336, here in cyan.
Pineus has skilfully orchestrated a palette of Svenskt Tenn furniture, fabrics and curated mid-century pieces, adding them to some of the latest designer talents. The interior feel is instinctive, and you can see that Pineus had fun putting this concept into place: “I enjoy showing how the design of Svenskt Tenn can vary in expression depending on the fabrics you choose. We also create a home that is based on where you are.”
The Josef Frank Suite is a perfect edition for the Hotel Altstadt, who have previously showcased a variety of creative talents who pair well with the ethos of the house - from Mateo Thun, Andreas Lackner, and Polka Design, an interior style destination that has several artistic and interiors concepts that are deliciously disruptive when it comes to hotel-room design.
Check out this new Josef Frank Suite for yourself – or just opt for one of the other 50 or so rooms, apartments and suites of Vienna’s Hotel Altstadt – all in the creative hub of Spittelberg and only a 4-minute walk from the Museumsquartier.
If you love to stay in artsy hotels, like curling up with a good read or simply crave listening to the locals hit the strings – check out our travel edit for you, The Culture Kids featuring hotels inspired by their love of the arts.