"Recycling on a grand scale" Vienna Off The Beaten Path Tip by TheWanderingCamel
Vienna Off The Beaten Path: 506 reviews and 1,081 photos
For nearly one hundred years, four huge gasometers loomed high over Vienna's Simmering district. Times change - the gasometers became obsolete as natural gas replaced manufactured town gas, and the industrial area around them slipped into decline as industry moved further out of the city. So, what do you do with four huge redbrick cylinders that are protected because of their historical merit as industrial architecture?
The answer in Vienna was to turn them into high quality subsidised housing, an innovative solution very much in keeping with the city's commitment to preserving all aspects of its history. The result is an fantastic development that has seen external appearance of the gasometers change very little, but the interior changed completely. Four groups of architects were allocated a gasometer each to design the refurbishments, with four very different solutions. As well as housing there is a two-level shopping mall linked through all four buildings, large areas of office space and the city's archives are also housed here.
Anyone with an interest in urban rehabilitation and/or historic industrial architecture really should make the short trip out to these castles of 19th century industry and innovation. Tours are available.
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