Here’s Tuya

Vienna Restaurant interior raises a toast to Hans Hollein

When Vienna’s Tuya Restaurant & Lounge was completed in 2019 following an extensive remodel, the design intent was to conserve and complement the original interior as envisioned by Hans Hollein.

Hans Hollein was an Austrian architect, designer, theoretician, urban planner, artist, and teacher, whose visionary work has come to typify Modernist Viennese architecture. In 1985 he became the only Austrian ever to be awarded the Pritzker Architecture Prize, particularly in recognition of his museum designs.

Tuya’s interior design, created by Mihai Popescu of Twins Design in Bucharest, elegantly honors the structure’s considerable historical and architectural significance. Latin for “yours,” Tuya opens the doors in its two-story grand entrance—designed by the city’s celebrated native son—upon an inviting space.

TuyaCreative and captivating, the terrazzo floor contributes to the timelessness of the interior, responding aptly to the subtle Art Deco and Postmodern influences of the original space. The 6,000-square-foot installation integrates some 1.6 miles of brass divider strips shaped onsite by the terrazzo artisans. The gracefully coordinated custom floor is elegantly informal, combining two sumptuous epoxy colors with classic patterning.


A destination within a destination

This French Riviera-flavored destination restaurant is in Vienna’s historic center, situated on a typical Viennese pedestrian path just a couple of doors down from Stephansplatz, designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Stepping out the restaurant’s front entrance reveals a partial view of the square’s main attraction: Stephansdom, St. Stephen’s Cathedral. St. Stephen’s was completed in 1433 and is still one of the world’s tallest churches at 136.6 meters. Nearby is a Hollein-designed commercial center, Haas Haus. The once-disputed juxtaposition is accepted today as a case in point of modern and medieval design complementarity.

Tuya’s interior transformation was completed under the watchful eye of the city’s commission on historic preservation, of course, or “na no na net,” as the Viennese might say. Heavy loads and access to the site for material delivery were strictly regulated. The commission required that at least 15 percent of the original design be retained, so the new interior was developed around one of Hollein’s grand signature statements: a helical staircase in cream marble, along with most of the original marble floor.


Tuya’s interior was awarded a 2020 Gold A’ Design Award for interior space and exhibition design. In 2021, the project earned an Honor Award from the National Terrazzo & Mosaic Association for the terrazzo contractor, the Bucharest-based Aragon. The recognition was one of two awarded that year to the new member company, which is the association’s first European firm to join its numbers. Award recipients are chosen based on the aesthetics of the terrazzo installation in its design context, craftsmanship demonstrated, and scope of the work.




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