Hitch a ride to the future : Tabakfabrik Linz

As part of the relaunch of the Tabakfabrik website, and thanks to the wide range of expertise in this area available on-site, the new Tabakfabrik website is also going to feature a blog on transport in all its myriad forms. – Many of the companies, SMEs and sole entrepreneurs in the field of creative industries who are tenants at Tabakfabrik work with innovative transport concepts. – From the reinvention of drone technology (e.g. Ars Electronica Solutions) to zero-emission transport concepts (e.g. WanderSchweben segways) and from artistic interventions (e.g. Hannes Langeder’s Ferrari bike Fahrradi) to public transport. We will be starting this blog on the topic of public transport/the new tram line 4, as this is causally linked to the development of Tabakfabrik.

Tabakfabrik, which is blessed with 80,000 m² of indoor usable floor space, constitutes a separate city district in its own right due to its sheer size. The former tobacco factory claims a special position within the overall city structure as the hub of its creative industries. It bridges the gap between the city centre, the Danube waterfront recreational and cultural precinct, and the booming port area stretching to the Voestalpine industrial area. The revitalisation of the former Linz tobacco factory is in line with a key objective of Linz’s modern urban development concept: the expansion of the city centre towards the east and the creation of new urban hotspots beyond the high street, Landstraße.

Playing a central role in this process is the planning around the construction of the second main tramway trunk, Line 4, between the Linz Urfahr train station and Bulgariplatz square; Tabakfabrik will form a prominent stop on this route and will become a future public transport hub in the Linz central city area.

Since the new tram line will predominantly run underground, it makes sense that Tabakfabrik should also have a new, underground entrance from the future tram station; passengers exiting the tram station can take the elevator or escalator straight into Tabakfabrik, making it easier for them to find their way around the complex.

In any case, Line 4 is a major undertaking by public services provider Linz AG essential for Linz’s urban development, and will have a considerable impact on the design of Tabakfabrik and significantly shape the planned Building 3/Brandland project (see map). For that reason, Tabakfabrik Entwicklungs- und Betriebsgesellschaft (Development & Operating Company) and various partners are currently collaborating on a sensational public-access project entitled Haltestelle Zukunft (Hitch a ride to the future), where a tram car ascending from/descending into the underground in front of Tabakfabrik is planned to serve as a walk-in information centre. Info screens inside the tram car will detail the planned tram route, the planning and construction timelines and the pioneering potential of this new public transport development. – In order to keep the population up-to-date on development progress and the current status of the urban construction project, and to generate a high level of awareness and broad public popularity.

With tram line 4, the City of Linz is also demonstrating a clear commitment to Tabakfabrik as a location. – Because, whereas bus lines can be rerouted relatively easily, a railway line is reasonably permanent infrastructure that will stay in that exact location for a very long time, generating around 104 million passengers – who all are potential walk-in customers for Tabakfabrik – each year.

This expansion of the public transport system not only increase the value of Tabakfabrik, but also offers the chance to establish the courtyard of the former industrial complex (Peter Behrens Square, approx. 10,000 m²) as an additional, new main city square and hub of Linzers’ daily lives.

As a ‘tram stop to the future’, Tabakfabrik represents a pivotal component of the expansion of the city centre towards the eastern industrial areas, reflecting not only conceptually but also geographically the junction of industry and the arts so integral to Linz’s self-image today.

Information on the planned route of the new tram line 4


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