365 The Fox House: Seedling Storefront

365 The Fox House in this month's Treasure Hunt

On The Town | Nina Prader | April 2012

If you are in the arts scene, or you consider yourself a cultural revolutionary in Vienna, then you were at The Fox House opening on 1 March, the first night that qualified as Spring after two months of bitter cold. You were dressed to the nines and soaking up all that is stylish and inventive. Maybe you came just in time to witness the police break up the accumulated mass of hundreds of Austria’s "young and restless" – emerging creative professionals – on the corner of Bandstraße and Westbahnstraße.

Pop-ups are a reaction to empty storefronts: a symptom of our economic times. These creative spaces "pop up", quite literally, like wild mushrooms, in unexpected locations like hotels, apartment houses or office buildings for a limited time – a night or a year. You hear about them through Facebook, blogs, word of mouth, and discover the latest underground trends in fashion, design, art, and music.

Project Fox House 365 is one of these, part off-space and part pop-up store and an innovative addition to Vienna’s cultural landscape.

The Fox’s three rooms are interchangeable, as a gallery (the off-space), a fashion store (the pop-up shop), and a DJ-area. Across the street, Das Rad Lager (Bike Storage) – also part bike store, bar, and happening place – collaborates with The Fox House on impromptu merchandizing in the thicket of 7th District bobo-land.

The Fox is not only glamourous and hip, but ruggedly alternative. Shopping with values: a bit of guilt-free consumerism and a dirty pleasure at the same time. The wares are eco, vintage, artsy, or all three combined – the unique, the aesthetic, the craft, and the contemporary Zeitgeist. This place embodies the idea of "limited edition": hand-knit dresses and screen-printed T-shirts with hand-painted independent labels; pendants made from appropriated animal figurines. It’s like a legal black market: a vision of an economy cultivating quality values, right beside trends from Berlin, Paris, and New York. Under the veil of "off-space" you consume "off" the mainstream radar.

Like the prohibition parties of the 1920s, the flair of pop-up shopping and gallery viewing lies in its aura of impermanence and non-affiliation, an electrifying hunt for novelty. You become a guerrilla-shopper, a connoisseur of the cutting-edge, and are privy to an exclusive subculture. The pop-up kitchen next-door offers an affordable, exotic menu by Morrison catering. Spaghetti with pumpkin pesto and chestnut mousse au chocolat, enjoyed on red pleather couches, surrounded by empty stacked crates. Here idealism is reborn as quality of life in cookery, design, and community.

Founders Toni Tramezzini, Katrin Hoffmann, Tess Marja Werner and David Kreytenberg will supply this creative networking hub with exciting exhibitions through year end. The building is set to be redeveloped into apartments in the new year, and the team plans to find a new location. In the meantime, they have achieved the unimaginable in traditional Vienna, establishing The Fox as an urban fixture: a crack in the asphalt of old Viennese culture, a seedling of young innovation.

Now, it’s your turn to spread the word.


365 The Fox House

Tue.-Fri., 13:00-19:00; Sat., 13:00-18:00

7., Westbahstraße 11-13


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