Viennese architects Kohlmayr Lutter Knapp have come up with a new use for empty retail spaces. The disused stores, mostly around 250 square feet in size, are being converted to hotel rooms. Guests can decide how much of the view outwards - and inwards - to reveal, using a clever blind system. As part of the emphasis on locality, artists from the immediate environs are invited to design the rooms. The Urbanaut room rate includes, among other extras, use of two bicycles for duration of your stay. The first of these "Vienna Street Lofts" was opened in 2011, near the fashionable Freihausviertel in Vienna's fourth district. Further locations will open for bookings in 2012.
Different Urbanauts clustered together in one district make up a decentralized hotel, with services dotted around the neighborhood: the coffeehouse next door is the breakfast room, the hammam across the street is the spa, and the hotel bar is that trendy watering hole around the corner. All these local amenities and tips are plotted on a map provided in the room. And the lobby? It's the whole city. The street concept is designed to offer guests a real feel for the surrounding urban space, and an alternative to the run-of-the-mill tourist traps. Guests step out of their room right onto the sidewalk, but the spaces still offer a private and convenient retreat for travelers.
Urbanauts Street Loft "Die Schneiderin"
Theresianumgasse 35, 1040 Vienna
book via www.urbanauts.at