The Room Maker

‘We are beginning to understand that resources are not endlessly available. Therefore, we should make products that impress with refinement rather than an excessive use of materials – things that are produced sustainably, that are durable and have a timeless aesthetic.’

This belief of Stefan Diez, designer of the award-winning AYNO lamp, is also shared by Markus Rauer, creator and owner of ZIMMER (German for ‘room’). Opened in 2016, ZIMMER is a versatile space dedicated to creativity and communication..

Whenever bus 13A stops next to ZIMMER, passengers cast curious glances inside. Behind the high windows, they can see a wide variety of beautiful designer objects: mid-century chairs, tables or cabinets, industrial-style lamps or a clock that tells the time in words instead of numbers – a very alluring mix of shapes and colours.

Sometimes you can also see people behind those windows: people listening to lectures, eating sandwiches, or engaging in animated discussions. On other days, it might be nerdy-looking types working on their laptops. And occasionally ZIMMER even turns into a small indoor jungle populated by friendly house-plants.

But who is the mastermind between this ‘concept to work’, as ZIMMER is officially called? Markus Rauer hails from Hesse, Germany, and was infected with the Vienna virus in 2003. Working in advertising at the time, he came to Vienna for the 2003/04 Merci Chérie tour of the late, great Udo ­Jürgens. As soon as he set foot in the city, he started to plan his professional future in the Austrian capital.

Rauer quickly gained a foothold in Austria and won a host of awards with his advertising company MARA Media. And the products, which are also available at ZIMMER, regularly win big, too: The Qlocktwo (the ‘reading clock’), for example, even snapped up a Best-of-Best ICONIC AWARD 2020!

The furniture and accessories at ZIMMER are by the great designers of the 1930s to 1950s and produced by companies such as Vitra, famed for its timeless design and outstanding quality, and Midgard, which revolutionized the work lamp. ZIMMER also had a prototype of Stefan Diez’s Midgard lamp AYNO on display even before it was available at specialist retailers.

But ZIMMER is not only a showroom, it also undergoes regular transformations. It offers a ‘workroom’ with 16 workplaces that can be rented as a working space, two ‘meeting rooms’ for up to 10 or 50 people, a Scandinavian-style ‘dining room’ with a quality kitchen, and a versatile ‘living room’ that can be used as a concept store, a gallery, a lecture hall, a photo studio, etc.

And Markus Rauer keeps on working, developing and creating. He came for ‘Merci Cherie’ – but luckily, he is not likely to say ‘Adieu’ anytime soon, having also found his own ­private ‘zimmer’ (rooms) in the Josefstadt.

▶ ZIMMER – Multifunktionaler Designraum
8., Piaristengasse 6-8. Mo-Fr 10–18:30h
+43 1 9130096, www.zimmer.co.at