Found project: Schullin Jewellers I

    Project : Schullin Jewellers I

    Architect : Hollein, Hans

    Completion: 1972

    Locality : Wien

    Country : Austria

    Building style : Postmodernism

    Project on the map (green arrow)

    Description :

    In the late 1960s and 1970s one finds a number of designers playing games almost in the spirit of the style known as ”California crazy”, where one might see a snack bar in the shape of a giant hamburger. In Europe Günther Domenig’s bank in Vienna (1975) seems to have collapsed as if struck by an earthquake.

    Hans Hollein’s jewelry shop in Vienna (1976) looks as if it has been damaged by gunfire, while his travel agency (1976) outfaced vulgarity with golden palm trees, a bronze Indian dome and a classical ruin. The same cheerful defiance of all canons of taste appeared in shopping malls and reached its epitome in Disneyland.

    Sutton, Ian: Western Architecture, A Survey from Ancient Greece to the Present, Thames and Hudson, London 1999, p. 361.

    In this jewelry shop in Vienna, ornament is both message and medium. Hans Hollein has taken the basic shell of a 19th century building, corrected it slightly, and painted it white. He then superimposed a clearly differentiated layer of elements not only functional but fantastic and luxurious.

    Paradoxically for a jewelry shop (and quite intentionally), he has used materials in flagrant disregard of their real value: some are precious and some are common, but all, glowing or glittering, tease the visitor with an impression of wealth and mystery.

    Real marble is used in the patterned floor, but in the black-curtained backworld of the safe, under a mock skylight, plastic laminate pretends to be marble. Real bronze is used as an arch/guillotine over the entrance, but a headless ”bronzed” African bust is in fact plastic (text from ”Ornament is no crime”, Progressive Architecture / NY). (June 22, 2011).

    Ed. Heikki Nikkinen

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    Schullin Jewellers I
    Schullin Jewellers I
    Image © Arto Kuorikoski