Tabakfabrik (the Linz tobacco factory) is a heritage-listed industrial complex designed by Peter Behrens and Alexander Popp erected in 1929-1935. As Austria’s very first steel frame building constructed in the New Objectivity style, Tabakfabrik is also of international architectural significance. The entire tobacco factory complex is a work of art – a radical functionalist masterpiece.
For more than 350 years, goods were manufactured at this location – textiles from 1668 to 1850 and subsequently tobacco. Founded as an emergency measure, the tobacco factory came to symbolize economic upturn through progress. In 2001 the British Gallagher Group bought the company and sold it to Japan Tobacco International. The Japanese owners shut down operations in 2009. The City of Linz subsequently repurchased the 38,148 m² factory complex.
This architectural pearl is now used for a variety of contemporary arts and business purposes – a societal microcosm of the working life and business worlds of the future. This development is overseen by Tabakfabrik Linz Entwicklungs- und Betriebsgesellschaft mbH (translates roughly as “Linz Tobacco Factory Development and Operations, Ltd), part of the group of companies operated and owned by the City of Linz.
SITE OF CREATIVE PRODUCTION
Tabakfabrik Linz is not only important for Linz’s international positioning but also for its significance for the creative industries. It is home to about 250 organizations variating in size that offer about 1,850 workplaces in various branches. The companies and people operate in different branches – they are artists, start-ups, social societies und programs, advertising and media agencies, business angels, founders, investors, students, social workers, technology and software developers, architects, designers, manufacturers and many more – they use Tabakfabrik as their office, studio, co-working-space, lecture hall, workshop, meeting room and event location.
The Tabakfabrik Linz is a laboratory for its pioneers, in which the contemporary principle of producing in networks and loose communication structures comes alive. The potential of the CCI (cultural and creative industries) is revealed remarkably by the digital sector, which merges genres as film, video, music or animation.
With Bau 1, Bau 2 and Magazin 3 great parts of Tabakfabrik have already been developed and are rented to the current 250 tenants. In the upcoming years the last buildings of the historic site, the storages “Magazin 1” and “Magazin 2” as well as the power plant “Kraftwerk” will be revitalized.