Kerzengeschaft Retti Wien, Osterreich 1964-1965 

The candle store Retti is the first realized project of Austrian Pritzker Prize winner Hans Hollein. In 1956, he graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts, where he was part of the master school of Clemens Holzmeister. Shortly after, the young architect was commissioned to design the Retti candle store at Kohlmarkt 8-10 in the center of Vienna.

Hollein's career was clearly influenced by the Viennese context, particularly by the architect Adolf Loos, who was not extensively published at the time. Loos’s unusual designs and attitude towards architecture made a strong impression on Hollein. The spatial proximity of some projects also highlights the dialogue with the architectural context. The Looshaus (1910) and the Manz Library (1912) are already located on Kohlmarkt. Hollein had the opportunity to shape the street with his architectural vision through the Retti (1966), Schullin II (1982), and later through the square design of Michaelerplatz (1991).

Like a casket, the candle store is placed in a typical Viennese building designed by Ludwig Tischler (1875) and occupies its original entrance.

The carefully staged presentation of the store to the public is strongly evident in the small candle store. Except for a graphic of the conquest of infinite space and an axonometric representation from diagonally above, there are no published plan documents. The relationship of the facade to the street space is never addressed, nor are there sections, floor plans, or elevations. Hollein also determined what was shown and what was not during construction. An iconic photograph illustrates the construction fence designed by Hollein to keep out the gazes of curious passersby. What is shared with the public are the stunning photographs by Austrian artist Franz Hubmann that portray the interior and exterior spaces. This allows one to immerse oneself in the project, experience the unfamiliar materials, and soak up the atmosphere of the space. Hollein submitted these prints for the Reynolds Memorial Award in 1966, which he unexpectedly won. This later opened several doors for him and allowed him to obtain further commissions, including the Feigen Gallery, Schullin I, and Schullin II. Even when submitting the planning documents to the City of Vienna, the young architect was very frugal with the information. In a later conversation, he affirmed his concern about obtaining permission to build his project due to the unusual materiality and form at that time. This was the reason he gave for the high construction fence and the sparse plan documents.

Graphic Elaboration 
The architectural concept can be summarized by the following guiding ideas:

What is architecture?
One candle is enough
Defined narrowness vs. undefined infinity
Reality vs. fantasy
Architecture is everything!
Taking off the ideals

Urban Scale
In the graphic revision of the representation of the facade, care was taken to locate the project, which is always shown out of context. Through the surroundings, one can see the scale of the store and how it can get lost in the street space. By depicting the entire block, the reference to the surrounding buildings is established.

Architectural Scale 
Working on the floor plan, sections, and elevations allows an objective, neutral, and informed view of the project.

Interpretative Representations
Care was taken to reveal new perspectives. The topography of the ceiling, as opposed to Hans Hollein's top view perspective, and also the spatial sequence are thereby revealed.

De Chiffre, Eder, Krenn