Heating Plant Spittelau – Energy & Art

Vienna’s waste incineration plant with an artistic façade designed by Hundertwasser

The special feature of the district heating plant Spittelau – one of three waste incineration plants of Wien Energie – is not only that it is regarded as the second largest producer of heat for the city. But above all, its façade: after a major fire, it was completely redesigned by the world-famous artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser.

Aussenansicht der Fernwärme Wien - gestaltet von Hundertwasser
Fernwärme Wien Spittelau © Schaub-Walzer / PID

Incidentally, it was not an easy task for the then mayor Helmut Zilk to convince them: Hundertwasser was an advocate of waste prevention and reuse and therefore initially had nothing to do with the plant. Only when it could be assured that the most modern techniques would be used for emission control, the artist accepted the offer.

Also, the understanding that a million-dollar city like Vienna realistically creates waste – and this then environmentally friendly burned and can be used as meaningful for heat generation – he finally brought. From 1988 to 1992, Hundertwasser devoted itself to the large all-round redesign, which caused a media sensation worldwide.

Architecture – Fernwärmewerk Spittelau

Friedensreich Hundertwasser incorporated his style into the elaborate redesign of the district heating plant – with soft and crooked forms such as curves, spheres and domes and dazzling colors ranging from gold to blue. Not for nothing is the colorful building still one of the most popular photo motifs of Vienna. Characteristic here – as with other architectural projects Hundertwasser – again a lush, fresh planting with trees and shrubs.

Schornstein des Gebäudes der Fernwärme Wien
Heating plant – Schornstein © Schaub-Walzer / PID

Guided tour of the Vienna Energy World Spittelau

Anyone wishing to experience district heating live from within will also take part in a guided tour of the Wien Energie-Welt Spittelau: in addition to fascinating insights into the extensive technical entrenchments of the waste incineration plant – and its control center – interesting facts about waste prevention and separation will be provided and combustion mediates. The environmentally friendly generation of heat and hot water is explained in an understandable way. In addition, part of the guided tour is, of course, also dedicated to the work of Hundertwasser, who has put his artistic stamp on the façade.

The guides are free. They are offered for both young people / schools and adult groups – in German or English.

Location and map of the waste incineration plant:

Adress: Spittelauer Lände 45, 1090 Wien
Public accessibility: directly at the train station and subway station Vienna Spittelau

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