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25 November 2015

Viennese jeweler A.E. Köchert invited to a cocktail at the refurnished salon-boutique by Theophil Hansen from 1873

There is probably no other store in Vienna which exists so long in main parts in its original design like the A.E. Köchert jewellery salon-boutique which opened in 1873 - the year of the World Exhibition in Vienna - with an awarded jewellery collection and interior design by one of Austria's most important classicistic architects Theophil Hansen at the Neuen Markt 15. Now, Hansen's design received a make-over which acts like a link between the style epochs since 1873 - from original Classicism, over Jugendstil, Wiener Werkstätte to Post-Modernism.

fig.: At the opening of the cocktail for members of the press, co-owner Wolfgang Köchert (his family founded the jewellery house A.E. Köchert 1814) and architect Erich Bernard of BWM Architects welcomed the guests and introduced into the idea behind the refreshed architecture.

Erich Bernard and his BWM team collaborated with designers like lighting specialist Megumi Ito for the careful refurnishing of the salon-boutique. Megumi Ito's chandelier (on the second image below, from left) is the result of her research on Theophil Hansen's signature designs; Ito incorporated contemporary aesthetics - especially the indirect enlightenment of the crystals, what makes the luster on the first sight almost undatable. This is like it should be: the lightning object is set in dialogue with signature forms of the stylistic periods during the last almost 150 years and appears as timeless piece in the first room of the jewellery salon-boutique.

After the first salon with wooden walls, mirrors, glass vitrines and Megumi Ito's chandelier, the second salon at the ground floor (images below, second row) follows the idea of a jewellery box and is used for theme and color related showcases. Vitrines with re-interpretations of former Court Jeweler A. E. Köchert's stars for empress Elisabeth of Austria (known also as Sissi), a glass vitrine with jewellery creations by artists like Xenia Hausner or Peter Kogler for the 200 years anniversary collection by A.E. Köchert from 2014, to showcases which contain arrangements of necklaces, bracelets, rings... after colors. The designs range from daily wearable modern-elegant items to exclusive evening jewellery. The puristic vitrines by the BWM Architects make think at first of functional Wiener Jugenstil design concepts; the elegantly restrained forms are equipped with almost invisible lighting and security features. They are wallpapered with full-grain leather in the color mauve. The second salon as a whole is inspired by the idea of a huge jewellery box in metallics and mauve. The architects have chosen mauve as it was in connection with the new aniline dying procedure a big theme during World Exhibition 1873 in Vienna, explained Erich Bernard the concept of the salon with seating niches (original Theophil Hansen chairs with new leather upholstering in the color mauve) and wallpapers in grey-mauve.

Theophil Hansen would had been pleased by so much flair derived from the knowledge of the history of applied arts and architecture.

Photos below: (C) Christoph Panzer.

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