The idea is simple and endlessly expandable.

Urbanauts was initiated by 3 architects-in-training with an active interest in urban design; reviving the city and efficiently using vacant space are central to its mission.

It’s a familiar scene: a pizza shop on the left, a laundrette on the right and a string of empty storefronts in between. Maybe the area can’t support more businesses, or maybe the cost of renovation is prohibitive. Fortunately, the city of Vienna found itself a group of young people who are willing to make the effort and rehabilitate these very spaces. Empty stores are transformed into fancy street-level hotel rooms, opening directly onto the street and connected to the pulse of the city.

Urbanouts by STADTBEKANNT Mautner
Urbanouts by STADTBEKANNT Mautner
Urbanouts by STADTBEKANNT Mautner

The rooms’ well-thought-through interiors are designed and built by the architects themselves, maintaining a cohesive minimalist character. Upon opening the door leading from the street directly to your bedroom, the room feels stylishly sleek yet comfortable and cozy. The bathroom, closet space and little “web corner” – complete with Apple computer – all harmonize to create a balance of design and comfort. Next to the neatly made bed, you will find magazines and city guides. The Urbanauts concept supports the independent traveller, yet still offers suggestions on where to go and what to do by providing a city map with a list of co-operative partners.

Partners, also known as fellows, are shops, restaurants and design studios in the area who are happy to open their doors to urban travellers. Most people would not expect the amount of activity and life that exist in seemingly quiet districts and side-streets. Far from the hotels, with their continental breakfasts and fitness centres, you will experience an authentic slice of Viennese life by hunting for businesses and venues in the surrounding area.

There are currently three hotel rooms available through the Urbanauts website, where you can also find information about the various venues and fellows throughout the city. If you like, you can use an interactive map to build an itinerary and plan your stay before hand. Once you have booked your room you will receive a code for the lock and can check in at anytime you like.

Sometimes the Urbanauts rooms have to be moved, and temporary ones built. If you missed the temporary rooms, fear not – two additional permanent locations are coming soon to the 4th district!

 Header image by Peter Bender