books & bagels
Judengasse 13, Vienna 1

Situation in the urban context and external effect

This shop is on a site noteworthy in terms of urban space. The building housing it juts out into the space: it constitutes, on the one hand, the termination of the Seitenstettengasse – in which the synagogue is located – and is, on the other hand, also part of the square surrounding Ruprechtskirche.
The large uniform openings, recalling loggias, are the building’s distinctive characteristic – as well as that of the interior in question.

Spatial concept and functional arrangement

In addition to selling books and bagels, the intention is also to foster cultural exchange in a relaxed atmosphere.
To this end, a generously scaled lounge zone was established as central element. To the left of the space-structuring vestibule is an area accommodating 26 guests; on the right a counter. A glazed opening in the vestibule oriented to the counter makes visual contact with the employees possible. In the centre of the space and protected, so-to-speak, by a “ring of books” is the lounge. The space’s eye-catcher is a long, glass display case resting on the lettering >books & bagels<. The auxiliary spaces are situated at the only closed side, behind a wall of books. Toward Ruprechtskirche the two middle openings contain sliding doors to provide access to the outdoor seating in the summer.

Materiality and atmosphere

For the material and colour concepts, the architects took cues from their associations with libraries (oak) and bagels (golden-yellow nuances). The space is compact and its proportions nearly square. The decision to provide the space with centrality – in the form of the lounge – is underscored by the ceiling’s shades of grey becoming lighter toward the centre; the inner field is articulated as dimmable illuminated ceiling. Along the edge of the space, dimmable halogen spots accentuate the workspace and patron areas and reinforce the relationship between outdoors and indoors, particularly when it is dark outside.

Client: books´n bagels GmbH
Net area: 89 m2, Auxiliary spaces 48 m2
Planning: Eiblmayr_Frank Architekten
Assistant: DI Christoph Haas
Start of planning: November 2007
Construction phase: March/April 2008
Photo: Pez Hejduk