The history of Viennese model rooms goes back several centuries. The beginnings of example-setting ideal spaces were already emerging in the second half of the seventeenth century. The first attempts focused on the careful selection of materials, then furnishings were added gradually, such as furniture and lighting. Industrial development, economic progress, and improved quality of living cleared the way for individual expression. At this point, not only could wardrobe demonstrate social status and taste, living spaces also emerged as a means of expression and distinction. The demand for creative guidance towards this purpose rose and was promptly met. In the nineteenth century, furniture and exhibition catalogs were already providing advice on the development of style. It was in this period that the term “model room” came into being.
Gilbert Bretterbauer, Peter Kogler, Florian Pumhösl, Gerwald Rockenschaub, Lisa Ruyter, and Esther Stocker, as well as the companies Backhausen, Wittmann, and Zumtobel, developed six individual contemporary model rooms. They were on display at the Orangerie, Lower Belvedere.