Vienna Skyline

A thought on my month in Vienna (in 1987).

A very nice clean safe city full of nice people. However there are two extremely ugly buildings in Vienna. I tried to find a photo googling Vienna skyline but they seem to have been carefully kept off the web. They are huge rectangular towers with no windows. They made me think of miniluv in Oceania circa 1984.

Finally a nice Viennese person explained to me that they were anti aircraft towers from WWII and that, since the weakest material in them was concrete and the rest was steel no one had any idea how to knock them down without smashing all the nice little Viennese buildings near them.

This is a minor problem in city planning. I had an Idea. The towers have plain flat surfaces which are boring. How about painting them white and projecting something on them ? Now this would be very public and unavoidable (as the plain concrete is at the moment). That means that films or something would be innappropriate.

I would advocate taking extremely high quality photos of great works of art and projecting them. Also photos of beautiful Austrian nature would be nice.

The idea is that too much municipal eye time would be monopolised by a mural,l so a changing non controversial photo display would be about right.

3 thoughts on “Vienna Skyline

  1. Is this “Austria-day” at AFOE?

    I’ll help you out abit on the flaktowers. (I really don’t want to comment on the Sound of Music — I like music too much)

    But here’s pictures of all six of these towers:
    Vienna City Development Site,
    and here’s some pix from inside one of the towers:

    One of the towers, the one in the Eszterhazy Park is used as a Vivarium/Terrarium/Aquarium, the “Haus des Meeres” (House of the Sea), and the top of it serves as canvas for an instalation by Lawrence Weiner.

    (And if you want to google more, search for “Flakturm”)

  2. The flakturm with the “Haus des Meeres” is also used for climbing – the outside has been fitted with small rocks, etc., and you can climb the sheer face, and then come down by your harness/rope.

    I agree they are ugly, but then Vienna has a lot of beautiful aspects to compensate for these eyesores.

  3. The flakturm in the Prater houses Austria’s only nuclear reactor. The one in Stiftgasse houses the Austrian military intelligence service. The one in Esterhazypark is now a work by conceptual artist Lawrence Weiner.

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