To bring beauty into everyday life – that was the aim of the architect Josef Hoffmann, co-founder of the Wiener Werkstaette and later founder of Oesterreichische Werkstaetten, throughout his life. While studying at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna, where he was taught by Otto Wagner, he got to know Joseph Maria Olbrich. Olbrich worked with Otto Wagner in the latter’s office. Together with many other artists, including Gustav Klimt and Koloman Moser, they founded the Vienna Secession movement, which Hoffmann left a few years later in order to found the Wiener Werkstaette (Vienna workshop). Hoffmann was a co-founder of both the German and Austrian Werkbund federations of craftsmen. These earlier organisations had a significant influence on Oesterreichische Werkstaetten, which were founded in 1948.
Hoffmann was responsible for the Sanatorium Purkersdorf and all its interior design. His unmistakeable style can be seen throughout the building, from the entrance hall and the dining room to the bedrooms, and from the lamps and chairs to the cutlery. The Palais Stoclet near Brussels, which has been a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2009 and is home to the famous Stoclet Frieze by Gustav Klimt, was also designed by Hoffmann. In addition to architecture, Hoffmann was especially interested in design and all kinds of design elements. Many contemporary artists have been inspired by Hoffmann’s design idiom which is still highly influential today, especially when it comes to minimalist design.
Among many other things, he designed art deco home decor like tableware and glassware, for example for J. & L. Lobmeyr. Many of his patterns are still reproduced to this day. Backhausen possesses an extensive archive of his work and many of its fabrics are inspired by sketches and drawings by the architect. His nesting tables are particularly popular, as well as his Kubus arm chair and “sitting machine”. Many of his designs are permanently exhibited at the Museum of Applied Arts (MAK) in Vienna, and some of his items of furniture are still in series production, made by Wittmann.
All these Austrian art deco home decor products and accessories are available from the online shop or directly from our store at Kaerntner Strasse 6.