Sustainability is driving a multitude of innovations in Vienna.
Something old is usually the inspiration for something new. And culturally-rich cities like Vienna are pushing the boundaries to prove how tradition can be a springboard for innovative, cutting-edge experiences. Here are three ways to create forward-thinking meetings from Vienna’s timeless traditions.
Find Your Inner Conductor
Finding new ways to preserve Vienna’s classical arts heritage is on the agenda at the innovative House of Music, which is housed in the historical palace of Archduke Karl. Here, groups can hear, create and even “feel” sounds via a multitude of immersive installations spread over six floors. The storyline, stage design and music are in the hands of attendees who step onto the virtostage. Physical gestures direct the narrative of this immersive opera experience.
The sonosphere on the second floor explores everything from prenatal sounds (re-creations of sounds that could have been heard from the womb before birth) to sounds that exist on macro and micro levels in and outside of the human body. Groups can mix these sounds with classical music and their own voices and record everything to CD. Another curious option is “Facing Mozart,” which uses face tracking technology that allows attendees to “become” the famous composer as holograms of Mozart, Haydn and Beethoven float throughout the air. The House of Music also offers event space to groups, most notably a space overlooking the rooftops of Vienna and St. Stephen’s Cathedral for up to 80.
Reimagine & Repurpose
Vienna has a history of giving new life to old things. On the hotel front, groups arriving by train, bicycle or other eco-friendly ways get a 10 percent discount at the 79-room Boutiquehotel Stadthalle. The “zero-energy balance” hotel is powered by solar panels, but one of the more creative green initiatives is an upcycling program that pairs interior designers with students from the University of Applied Arts Vienna to transform everything from umbrellas and cutlery into practical art. Another highlight of the hotel is a lavender-filled rooftop meadow, the largest lavender field in the city.
A Hotel for Social Change
The mission of the Magdas Hotel is not only to provide a quality stay for its guests but to cultivate social change in the process. The hotel is operated by refugees who have been granted asylum in Vienna, and lectures, concerts, exhibitions and readings on social change topics are regularly held in the hotel’s salon.