By introducing the new idea of a showcase to the courtyard the Az W directs attention to its unique collection.
In terms of architectural history the showcase deserves our attention. Industrial advances made it possible to produce large sheets of glass, which then became a field of experiment, also for architects. The displays were codes for the modern metropolis, which opened up a perspective of the future for viewers and at the same time served to shape taste.
Corporate design, Vienna-style
To launch the new series “Collection With A View” we turn to a pioneer of the showcase – the architect and designer Oswald Haerdtl (1899–1959) – and make the motif of presentation itself into a theme. Together with the “grafisches Büro” the particular appeal of his designs for entrances and products is traced. His Espresso Arabia on Kohlmarkt, which vanished from the public face of the city in 1999, was a masterpiece in the cosmopolitan interpretation of Viennese coffee house culture. Colour and curvy design combined with the most modern technical sophistication typify the zeitgeist of the 1950s. Haerdtl’s Arabia belongs to the highlights of an unmistakeably Viennese corporate design, which extends far into urban space. In the permanent exhibition the theme of the showcase is examined in depth with the aid of original drawings.
Curator: Monika Platzer