BWM Architects

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BWM Architekten redesigned the iconic Figlmüller Restaurant in Vienna’s Bäckerstrasse as well as extending it to incorporate the entire ground floor of the neighbouring building. They combined typical Viennese materials with modern elements to create a fresh, yet cosy atmosphere where guests can enjoy their schnitzel, boiled beef and other classic Viennese dishes.

This client is a true Viennese institution: the iconic Figlmüller restaurant in Bäckerstrasse in Vienna’s 1st district. BWM Architekten redesigned the restaurant and extended it to include the entire ground floor of the neighbouring building so that it can now offer seating for 250 guests. Figlmüller is the first point of call for both tourists and locals when it comes to original Viennese cuisine that is at once steeped in tradition and keeps with the times. And just as cuisines continue to develop while remaining rooted in their history, so does the restaurant’s appearance now reflect this interplay between tradition and innovation, the old and the new.

Tradition meets modernity.

“Our goal was to preserve the quintessence of Figlmüller’s more than 100-year-old concept, but also embed it in a modern setting,” explains BWM architect Erich Bernard. “We wanted to keep the authentic Viennese atmosphere and satisfy guests’ expectations, while at the same time creating something new and contemporary. After all, every long-standing restaurant is a patchwork of sorts. But here we’ve elevated the patchwork to a concept.”

Erich Bernard
Every long-established inn is a kind of patchwork, but here the patchwork was elevated to a concept.
Erich Bernard

Preserved & complemented.

BWM Architekten reinterpreted classic Viennese restaurant materials like wood and tiles and congenially combined them with modern elements to create a both familiar and refreshingly contemporary atmosphere. “In this way, the old elements still have their merit, while at the same time being translated into the present day,” says Ingrid Schmid of BWM Architekten. By way of example, the wooden wainscot panelling, which is so typical of traditional Viennese taverns, was preserved and featured as a traditional element; its profile was, however, completely redesigned, its traditional pattern turned upside down and inside out, thereby giving it a fresh, new appearance.

Newly outfitted.

Special lamps developed by BWM Architekten in collaboration with light designer Christian Ploderer also reinforce the concept. These lamps have burnished brass stems and lampshades covered with stained Viennese wickerwork, reminiscent of the famous chairs. Red Adnet marble was added to supplement the existing stone floor in the bar area; oiled herringbone parquet was installed in the new rooms and separate zones created with Aurisina marble from Trieste.

BWM Architekten chose a light shade of green for the walls, applied with a noticeable brush stroke and a glossy finish, which creates a sense of spatial depth. By breaking through the walls, the new and the original parts of the restaurant are connected; the openings have sloping sidewalls, which directs the eye and creates the illusion that they are pictures on the wall giving glimpses into the adjacent room.

“Classic materials – such as wood with different surface textures, marble, brass and tiles – form a key part of the concept and always underline Figlmüller’s history and brand,” explains Kristina Tomaselli of BWM Architekten. The surfaces of the existing tabletops were stained and the table legs replaced with black steel. The additional, new tables have maple tabletops. The seating, in a style typical of taverns, consists of rustic, vintage chairs that have been freshly stained and varnished.

The two new bar areas are clad with warm cherry wood, which reinforces the tavern-like atmosphere. The tile, an element that is typical for Viennese restaurant culture and is currently experiencing a renaissance, is featured in more than one way. Dark green tiles covering the bar and the passageways are complemented by the thresholds in Verde Assoluto natural stone.

Das Team bei der Eröffnung in der Bäckerstraße: BWM Architekten Erich Bernard und Kristina Tomaselli (beide r.) mit Thomas Figlmüller (Mitte) und Figlmüller-Geschäftsführer Harald Prochazka (l.)
Das Team bei der Eröffnung in der Bäckerstraße: BWM Architekten Erich Bernard und Kristina Tomaselli (beide r.) mit Thomas Figlmüller (Mitte) und Figlmüller-Geschäftsführer Harald Prochazka (l.)

An entire additional ground floor

Thanks to the amalgamation of the two buildings, the restaurant now offers seating for 250 guests across 450m2. A gallery was constructed in the new space at 4 Bäckerstrasse, and this double-height principle was also implemented at 6 Bäckerstrasse. There are breakthroughs on both levels that allow passage between the two buildings and also create visual connections. In addition, almost imperceptibly tinted, elongated mirrors with thin black steel frames visually extend the rooms.

Unified exterior

The restaurant’s main entrance is still at 6 Bäckerstrasse. Midnight Green, a colour typical of traditional Viennese restaurants, connects the two façades and creates a cohesive look. The new outside lamps have the same diameter as the original cast-iron globe lamps created by the Viennese company W. Drab, albeit with modern arms. They extend the axis of the lighting along both façades.

Redesign / interior design for the iconic Figlmüller Restaurant in Bäckerstrasse as well as extension to 450m2 with seating for 250 guests

Completion 06/2020

Figlmüller GmbH

BWM Team
Erich Bernard, Ingrid Schmid, Kristina Tomaselli, Elisabeth Morillo-Napetschnig, Kinga Baluch

Image credit
BWM Architekten / Severin Wurnig
BWM Architekten


Site management and coordination
B. Weikl. e.U

Light planning
Christian Ploderer

Statics and construction physics
AXIS Ingenieurleistungen ZT GmbH

Carpentry work
Tischlerei Huber

Colour consulting
Monika Heiss

Kitchen planning
Lohberger Küchen Competence Center GmbH

Light producer
2F Leuchten GesmH



7 October 2020


A reason to celebrate! Our projects “Salon Sacher” and Figlmüller Bäckerstrasse” are among the Top 50 of the competition “The most beautiful restaurants & bars 2021”. Let’s keep our fingers crossed! The winners will be announced in March in the framework of the INTERNORGA in Hamburg.


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