Austrian architect Oswald Haerdtl was born under his mother’s name, Leopoldine Reiterer, as his mother was divorced and his biological father had converted to the Protestant faith only when he retired from work. Oswald was educated as a carpenter before he joined the Kunstgewerbeschule Wien. In 1938 he became an architecture professor. During the Nazi regime in Germany and Austria he moved his office to Poland (Cracow and Wrocław) and constructed camouflaged plant buildings. After World War II he was involved in urban projects, the rebuilding of destroyed buildings, and also developing arts and crafts objects.
He was best known for his design of cafés, restaurants and retail shops including all interiors such as show cases, dishes, but also the menus, the advertising, the wall clock, vases, up to the clothing of the waitresses. He was also known for his exhibition buildings such as the Pavilion of the Republic of Austria at the 1937 Paris World Fair as an oversized show case with a mighty glass body over a low, recessed base area, which left the view of the stunning panoramic views of the Austrian Alps streets unhindered.