Thomas Strumberger


  • How would you introduce yourself to strangers?

Probably my strongest impulse is to ensure a happy and peaceful life for my wife, my children and myself. I find titles and positions completely irrelevant. It’s my belief that work can help human beings evolve and that we each have something to learn from everyone else.

  • What made you choose architecture as a profession?

During highschool I used to work at artist Camelia Crișan’s workshop, where I helped with restoring furniture. At the same time I took pleasure in going out and sketching or photographing buildings in the city – I found the old water tower the most interesting. I still remember how one afternoon ms. Crișan gave me a present, a sketchbook, and told me: “You have to become an architect!”. It’s what eventually happened.

  • How has architecture influenced you personal development?

I think life is actually a continuous learning process. We must always discover new things and never stop learning. My years as an architectural student were pleasant but it was just a phase in my personal evolution. That training managed to make me want to learn more, to explore other domains.

  • How would you describe your alternative activity to people unfamiliar with it?

One could say that we are the proud owners of the smallest cafe in town! 16,2 sqm and 8 seats. In Vienna they teach architecture students about Kleines Cafe Wien as a socializing heaven where the most interesting discussions take place and where people with extremely diverse professions have the chance to meet and interact. It’s basically what happens in our cafe.

  • How has the transition from architecture to your alternative activity occured?

I’ve chosen an extremely intimate space in the city centre out of the need to experiment, to socialize and to create and add value to our community. Coffee seemed to be the best reason to bring people together. Our cafe is a gathering space, where people can discuss and express their opinions.

  • How do the two activities influence each other?

I can’t say that they influence each other. But because of the fact that coffee has assured me a constant income, I have the opportunity to keep my design standards high. This has also given me the financial freedom to choose the projects that I want to work on or not.

  • To what degree are you present in each of the activities?

As much as possible – I constantly try to keep a balance between work hours and spare time.