Best of Holz 2015

Breathe out

“Too bad for the wood that finds itself a violin,” said Arthur Rimbaud, the French poet. Today, wood might find itself even as a bicycle, glasses or a bag. Austria’s creative approach to the “resource of the future” is reflected in a great variety of innovative products and concepts that are created locally, yet acclaimed internationally. These are our Top 10.

Text: Martha Miklin
Japan inspired wooden daybed:

This minimalistic daybed – created by conceptual designers Chmara.Rosinke (Vienna) for luxury brand Hermès – meets the needs of people today: It’s an island of tranquility made from maple and larch wood – the perfect place for worn-out souls longing to clear their heads.

“Shell Bathtub” for 2 – bathing in a nutshell:

This beauty by Tyrolian designer Nina Mair proves that wood and water can be friends. Premium walnut, hand-polished and oiled again and again, reminiscent of an oval nutshell. A more than worthy winner of the Interior Innovation Award 2015.


Skischmiede – wood meets powder snow:

“Made by idealists for individualist” states Christian Riedl’s website. In 2004, this “ski blacksmith”, as Christian likes to call himself, started carving skis from local wood. Today, he has four different models on offer: all eco-friendly and handmade with a lot of love and patience in Upper Austria.

ROLF wooden spectacles – see and look better through wood:

High aspirations seem to foster creativity: Tyrolian label ROLF set out to create “the perfect eyewear”. Their ambition and efforts won them several awards, including the 2015 German Design Award and the Industrie Forum Design Award of the same year. Every single model – including Kallista 04, ELF and Olympia – is handcrafted. No screws, no metal.


Nussbag – woody bags:

This company from Upper Austria creates handbags, clutches, iPhone covers, yes even belts from untreated, sustainably produced wood. Named not only after one of their favourite materials, walnut (Walnuss), but also after its founder: Florian Nussbaumer.

Baumhaus Lodge – meet woodpeckers and squirrels in a treehouse:

Tourist coming to Schrems in Lower Austria can now wake up in the trees. Three lodges – all with solid wood interior – wait for them up in the trees of the beautiful Waldviertel region. The neighbours: oaks, beeches, pines and wild cherries.


Robert Rüf – chairs from back in the days:

Simple, functional and smart – that’s what Robert Rüf wants his creations to be. The industrial designer from Vorarlberg transforms tables and chairs from “back in the days” – think rustic chairs from old farmhouses or furniture from the Biedermeier period – into modern day objects. Blond wood mainly.

Great architecture for little creatures – bird houses, Vorarlberg style:

Heike Schlauch likes birds. And, as an architect, she likes nice houses. So why not build miniatures of real houses and let birds live in them? Sure enough, Heike created four true-to-scale models of species-appropriate, solid wood bird houses and nesting boxes.

Effortless cycling with mi-Bike:

researchTUb, the science department of Vienna’s University of Technology, and one of its students, Janez Tratar from Slowenia, developed an e-bike with a wooden frame. It’s surprisingly light – and sturdy. A big leap in innovative bike frame technology.

Innauer-Matt – living with wood:

Julia and Björn’s house, featuring spruce wood interiors from the region, is situated in Egg, Vorarlberg, right between a lime tree and a nut tree. Houses that blend into their surroundings, that’s what architects Innauer and Matt (also from Vorarlberg) strive for. What else do they like? Naming houses after their owners – and working with local materials and craftsmen.