Do you know the Gasometer Wien? During a walk in Simmering we discovered the really eye-catching buildings and went on a discovery tour.
About the Vienna Gasometer
From 1896 to 1899, a gasworks was built in Simmering. In the course of these construction measures, the Vienna gasometers were also built. They were used to store the city gas that was obtained from the so-called coal gasification in the furnace house and other work steps.
At first, this gas was only used for street lighting in Vienna. It was not until 1910 that the Viennese also began to cook and heat with gas.
After the mid-1970s, when Vienna switched from city gas to natural gas, the gasometers were no longer needed as storage facilities. The natural gas was stored in underground tanks or in spherical gas containers, which allowed a higher compression of the gas due to their design, and so the gasometers were shut down in 1984.
Since then, attempts have been made to put the listed buildings to good use.
The City of Vienna, as the owner of the buildings, first began to dismantle the technical installations and the buildings were used as exhibition spaces.
In 1995, a competition was held to find a new use for the buildings and it was finally decided to implement a mixed concept of living, working and entertainment. Several architects were involved in the implementation and the opening was celebrated in 2001. Each of the gasometers has been designed individually, only the old outer facade unifies the visual image to the outside.
A small independent town was to be created. About 1500 people moved into the new apartments and at first everything developed according to plan. A shopping center with stores and restaurants was built on several floors in the individual gasometers. The whole concept was designed for the use of 50000 people, but only about 1500 people lived there directly. Already existing shopping centers, which were present in the closer environment, covered the need up to then actually well. So it did not take long until more and more users in the Gasometer Vienna gave up and a new utilization concept had to be considered.
Meanwhile, the facility features a focus on music. In addition to a large music store, dance and music studios, the Electronic Music Academy (EMA), the Jam Music Lab and the Pop Academy Vienna are located here. An event area for concerts is also located in one of the gasometers.
When we were there, the buildings already seemed quite deserted. We walked from one building complex to the next, saw few visitors and many closed areas. Through a glass roof you could look into the courtyards with the apartments. Actually, it’s a pity that the concept didn’t work out that way. Because visually it is interesting to look up through the old roof truss into the sky. The new residential buildings behind the old facade are also visually quite attractive.
Gasometer Vienna as a film location
The James Bond film “The Living Daylights” contains footage shot at the gasometers. The scene shows the escape through a gas pipeline from Bratislava to Vienna, which ends at the gasometers. Here Georgi Koskov climbs into a vertical take-off plane, the roof of the gasometer opens and he takes off.
Falco also used the gasometers for his recordings of music videos. In “Coming Home (Jeanny Part II), interior and exterior views can be seen.
1110 Vienna, Austria