An homage to beauty: Thonet in the new restaurant of the Hotel Grand Ferdinand on Vienna’s historical Ringstraße
Photos: Grand Ferdinand
What happens when tradition is not conceived in retrospect but instead is celebrated while looking forward can be experienced at the Grand Ferdinand Restaurant, which opened on 2 October 2015. In its own restaurant, the new hotel on Vienna’s Schubertring treats its guests to traditional Austrian dishes including Kaisersuppe (‘emperor’s soup’), boiled fillet of beef and veal shanks Maria Theresa style. The interior design surprises with an opulent mix of styles: generosity and simple elegance are countered with a cosy traditional Vienna ambience including chandeliers and burgundy-red leather benches. With distinct style and comfort, Thonet’s 55 bentwood chairs 215 R and 90 models no. 233 fit in with this ensemble – and take guests on a journey into Vienna’s most influential epochs.
Michael Thonet designed the chair number 215 R in the year 1859. It is a variation of what is probably the most famous chair in the world – the coffee house chair 214, formerly no. 14. The slightly younger bentwood model 233 by Gebrüder Thonet from the year 1895 is characterised by armrests that are harmoniously integrated into the wider backrest. Since the beginning of the 20th century, the chair has been used in numerous cafes and restaurants throughout the world.
Built in the area of Ringstraße, the Palais Schubertring 12 was destroyed during the war and completely rebuilt in the 1950s based on plans by Percy Faber and Walter Sobotka. Before the new hotel owner, Florian Weitzer, almost completely transformed and modernised the building in 2014 with the help of the Vienna-based architectural studio Atelier Heiss, the building, which is partly under a preservation order, housed the Veitscher Magnesitwerke and the Central Austrian Office for the Protection of the Constitution as well as Amisola Immobilien AG. Today, the façade of the building surprises with old and new beauty as one more testament to the lively Ringstraße.