The Sofitel Vienna Stephansdom, designed by French star architect Jean Nouvel, has a minimalistic interior composed of white, black and grey – a statement in monochrome. The task of adding color was taken up by Swiss artist Pipilotti Rist at Nouvel’s request. She has decked out the five-star superior hotel with stunning, vivid ceilings. A work made up of plant and animal motifs in blue, orange, and green stretches from the hotel foyer to the adjacent winter garden. Even more spectacular, the vibrant ceiling of panoramic glass-fronted restaurant Le Loft on the 18th floor can be seen from some distance away thanks to integrated LED lighting. The Sofitel Vienna Stephansdom is also a partner in another art project offering overnight stays that are truly out of the ordinary. As part of artist Carsten Höller’s exhibition Leben (Life), guests can spend the night in The Elevator Bed at the Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary (TBA21) space in Vienna’s Augarten park. The bed rises to a maximum height of 3.5 meters, and the package includes dream-inducing toothpaste, time in the flotation tank, and a champagne breakfast in the restaurant attached to TBA21.
Hotel Daniel Vienna acquired an extraordinary artwork for its opening in May 2012. Prominent contemporary artist Erwin Wurm mounted an original-size sailboat on top of the hotel’s flat roof, with the bow tipping forward over the front of the building. Wurm’s sculptures, videos, photographs, and drawings are known for their contradictory treatment of familiar forms, clear associations and everyday realities, and their exploration of borders. His boat sculpture for Hotel Daniel Vienna, titled Misconceivable, is the second version of a piece commissioned by Antwerp’s Middelheimmuseum. Hotel Altstadt Vienna, in the seventh district, benefits from its owner’s enthusiasm for art. Otto E. Wiesenthal has decorated the interior of his hotel, situated in an attractive Viennese Gründerzeit building, with works by Niki de Saint Phalle, Annie Leibovitz, Andy Warhol, Franz Ringel, and Gottfried Helnwein. And luxury hotel Sans Souci Wien, by the MuseumsQuartier, is almost an art gallery in all but name: original works by Roy Lichtenstein, Allen Jones, and Steve Kaufman adorn the walls in the rooms and public areas.
The Levante Parliament gave glass artist Ioan Nemtoi and Austrian photographer Curt Themessl design commissions. Nemtoi uses the hotel as a gallery for his works in Vienna – all of the glass sculptures and vases on display can be purchased – while Themessl has created a series of black and white portraits of dancers from Vienna State Opera and the Volksoper that can be enjoyed in the corridors and rooms. Le Méridien Wien, on the Ringstrasse, has invited numerous artists who work primarily in Vienna to produce works for the hotel. These include Ilse Haider – who created portrait sculptures of Austrian actors Romy Schneider and Oscar Werner – and Gudrun Kampl, whose “Schlaf” (Sleep) lettering hangs behind the reception desk. Video Lounge @ Le Méridien shows works by students and graduates of the neighboring Academy of Fine Arts, and the Artist Space presents work by new artists. The Harmonie Vienna showcases the Signapura art project: Peruvian artist Luis Casanova Sorolla creates works from the traces left by dancers on paper; these pieces, reminiscent of paintings, grace the spaces inside the hotel.
- Sofitel Vienna Stephansdom, Praterstrasse 1, 1020 Vienna, www.sofitel-vienna-stephansdom.com
- Carsten Höller: Leben, until 23 November, 2014, Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary - Augarten, Scherzergasse 1A, 1020 Vienna, www.tba21.org; overnight stay reservations: email@example.com
- Altstadt Vienna, Kirchengasse 41, 1070 Vienna, www.altstadt.at
- Hotel Sans Souci Wien, Burggasse 2, 1070 Vienna, www.sanssouci-wien.com
- The Levante Parliament, Auerspergstrasse 9, 1080 Vienna, www.thelevante.com/parliament
- Hotel Daniel Vienna, Landstrasser Gürtel 5, 1030 Vienna, www.hoteldaniel.com/vienna
- Le Méridien, Opernring 13, 1010 Vienna, www.lemeridienvienna.com
- Best Western Premier Hotel Harmonie Vienna, Harmoniegasse 5-7, 1090 Vienna, www.harmonie-vienna.at