Sofitel Stephansdom Hotel just opened and has been welcomed with great excitement in a city that is known for its architecture and monuments.
Enrich an already spoiled city was Jean Nouvel’s main goal when he started the Nouvel Tower project. A tower that was unveiled on 6th January 2011 as a nod to the new promising year to come. “You have to be ambitious to want to add something” are his words, and nobody can deny when entering the building that expectations have been met. On the border of the river Danube, a few steps away from St Stephen’s cathedral, this new skyscraper is playing with lights. A kaleidoscopic effect achieved with a minimalist approach where mirrors and glasses give the cue to the sun and moon lights. Very different from what the city traditionally offers, it is a jump in the future in a place of History.
The French architect has opted for a monochromatic vision, and wants the building to be a statement against schizophrenic aesthetic behaviours. Indeed, it is not rare to observe a break between the outside and the inside of a construction, the reason being that often the architect is not the interior designer and vice & versa. This creates discrepancies and sometimes disturbs the whole visitor experience. In this flagship hotel, it is a continuous flow that leads the way from the entrance to "almost empty" rooms. The journey ends or begins on the top floor in the French restaurant characterized by a colourful ceiling made by Swiss artist Pipilotti Rist.
Like an explosion of lights, you feel some sort of heat while being surrounded by transparency. You could be on a plane that would fly very low and would give you a full 360-degree view. This splash of colours is the ice on the cake, a bit of sweetness on top of neutral black, grey and white designs.
With this tower, Jean Nouvel has created a canvas for you to fill with your impressions. A moving tale that underlines the immobility of imperial monuments and reflects the modern changes that affect the city. A 5 star hotel to enjoy for a short or long stay, for sure this latest design addition gives Vienna another reason to be visited.
Text by Delphine Hervieu.