Since 1933, the Steininger manufacturing company, located in St. Martin in upper Austria, has successfully combined traditional artisanal craftsmanship, innovative manufacturing techniques and a distinctly cosmopolitan design. The mastermind behind the company, which is now run by the third generation of the family, is the designer and manager Martin Steininger.
With a childhood spent in his father’s workshop, Martin Steininger picked up carpentry early in his life. But it soon became clear that working finely by hand wasn’t enough, he began studying new production techniques, enhancing materials and seeking out designers and architects. Inspiration came rapidly from the likes of Adolf Loos, Josef Hofmann and Donald Judd amongst others. His own style evolved, and Steininger is now active across the globe, from Hong Kong to New York, with steininger.designers.
Uncompromisingly minimal, Steininger’s designs are often defined by a stylish intensity of artistic expression. His high-end living concepts, which transform any interior, extend from the floor choice to the furniture right through to the lighting, leaving nothing to chance. Everything is painstakingly thought-out to meet the needs and desires of the clients. One of Steininger’s principles is that “even aesthetics are a function”. This results in designs of puritanical modernity and a luxurious simplicity, whose functions, in line with the principle, are hidden behind appealing aesthetics. Take, for example, the kitchen island unit ROCK, a collaborative design by Steininger and Alberto Minotti comprised of four monolithic blocks. Inspired by Donald Judd’s artwork ‘Minimal Myth’, the kitchen units are made of six millimetre thin natural stone with mitre joints. Each ROCK unit appears as though made out of one piece of stone, rendering them more like an art installation than a kitchen.
Quality from start to finish
Many of the pieces are still made in St. Martin in upper Austria. Manufacturing, project management and fitting all occurs in-house under Steininger’s guidance. For customers, this guarantees the highest possible quality in all stages of the project. Alongside private and corporate clients, steininger designers also work together with interior architects and project developers to realise entire interior design concepts for residential properties. Examples of these include Vienna Hills and deLUXE an der Mur. Steininger tends to combine his own design objects with renowned furniture brands and products from leading manufacturing brands, such as Boffi, Living Divani, Porro, Casalis,Gaggenau, Baccarat, Paola Lenti and Sub Zero. Ever luxurious and extravagant, the outcomes are always individually suited to the client. Projects by Steininger take place in Austria and far beyond its borders too steininger.designers is a modern and youthful company, which manages not to be hidebound to current trends. Lead by its owners, its handcrafted products are far removed from the mass market. Made to measure, each displays a genuine passion for technical and aesthetic details that embody unbridled luxury.
Core competence in the kitchen
Defined as the heart and soul of the home, the kitchen is also the beating heart of Steininger’s own design objects. Beginning with PURE and its herb beds in 2007, the aluminium kitchen SLIM followed in 2008. In 2009 he launched the stone kitchen BLOCK, PURE made out of concrete in 2010, the MODUL 2012 and the latest, ROCK, in 2014, designed together with Alberto Minotti. By creating sculptures for the home from concrete, stone and aluminium, the company articulates its ambition of obtaining the maximum from any material and form. This has seen the use of eight millimeter thin concrete, anodised aluminium and stone, which reflects the company’s philosophy: An orientation towards international design with Austrian quality craftsmanship.
Text & Photos: Steininger.Designers GMBH | Translation: Emmie Collinge