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The Viennese cube clock in front of State Opera House, 1930
© ÖNB/Wien

Time for Vienna at Art Basel

In 1907, the first cube clock was erected at Vienna’s best-known intersection, the “Sirk Ecke” by Vienna State Opera. Its trademark cube shape meant the distinctive Plexiglas-covered clock faces, visible from a considerable distance, could be read from four sides. Today, more than 100 years later, 73 of these legendary timepieces can still be found in public spaces throughout the city.

The Viennese cube clock has become synonymous with timeless design. Design studio EOOS has made it the inspiration for their contemporary take on a Viennese coffeehouse, which had been the focal point for Vienna’s presence in the Collectors Lounge at this year’s Art Basel, under the slogan Time for Vienna.

The ambience of this Viennese café was created in silver, gray and black, large mirrors dominated, while the luminous surfaces of the Cube Clock, with their clear number index of dots and diamond shapes, continued on the surfaces of the room, tables and walls. A special edition of the coffee mugs was decorated with graphic elements of the clock in their original size. Café Diglas in the Scots Abbey was responsible for the coffee pleasure itself, while accompanying articles appeared in the recently published Monocle Travel Guide to Vienna.

Silent talk with Douglas Coupland

Generation X author Douglas Coupland, incoming artistic director of the Vienna Festival Tomas Zierhofer-Kin and Vienna Tourist Board Managing Director Norbert Kettner took part in the silent talk, transmitted via headphones, at the Vienna Café in the Collectors Lounge at Art Basel. The theme for the talk was From ‘Standard Time’ (inspired by the cube clock) to the ‘Extreme Present’. The talk was moderated by Monocle’s Vienna correspondent, Kimberly Bradley.



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