Then: gas storage tanks; Now: home
Four giant coal gasometers, built as part of Vienna’s municipal gas works in the late 1800s, have been refashioned into a complex of residential, commercial and municipal facilities. Formerly Europe’s largest gas plant, the gasometers now house 800 apartments, a student dormitory, a music hall, over 70 shops, restaurants, bars and cafes, a movie theater and the city’s municipal archive.
The gasometers were decommissioned in 1984 as the city transitioned from coal gas to natural gas, and they have evaded demolition through their 1978 designation as historical monuments. Each one stands 197 feet in diameter and 230 feet high and once had a storage capacity of over 3 million cubic feet. Designs for each of the four amended structures are unique and were chosen through a competition in the mid ’90s. The four designs come from architects Jean Nouvel, Coop Himmelblau, Manfred Wehdorn and Wilhelm Holzbauer.
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