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G-Town Gasometer Entertainment Center Cinema
Vienna, Austria
G-Town Auditorium Entrance Cinema Interior Concession Area Outside Staircase
Originally built in 1896, the Gasometer consisted of four, former natural gas tanks revitalized in a unique redevelopment project, which began in 1999.  The mixed use development includes an entertainment center, residential units and retail outlets.

The entertainment center designed by architect Rdiger Lainer, encompasses 21,000 sm. with a total  investment of over €153 million.  It is connected to the Gasometer complex via a glass enclosed bridge that spans the main avenue crossing through the complex. The multiplex cinema space is located on the top level of the commercial center among restaurants, retail stores and other leisure locations.

The colorful design called for each reinforced concrete auditorium box to appear floating independently within the cinema space.  Each box projecting through an all glass roof, allowing natural light to filter through to the cinema lobby level. 

Cinema Characteristics: 12 screens
Stadium seating auditorium design
4,500 seats
8,000 sm. footprint
Cinema on two (2) levels
Project Type: Commercial urban mixed-use
Building Description: Cast in place, reinforced concrete structure
Aluminum and glass exterior curtain wall
Built-up roof membrane over auditorium boxes
Steel and glass skylight roof over lobby areas
Project Scope of Work:  Build-to-suit, with developer delivering cinema core and shell construction, including interior fit-out and common areas, except for tenant furnished and installed cinema fixture, furnishings and equipment (FF&E)

The project presented several complex challenges:  (1) a unique core and shell design forced cinema operation and design teams to work within the confines of a fixed footprint design,  (2) effective communication on a technical level do to language differences, (3) inability of face-to-face interaction because of geographical dispersion, and (4) tracking and coordination difficulties due to time zone differences.

Recognizing the importance of mutual understanding between both teams, emphasis was placed on communication.  By developing a common communication strategy, the distance and time difficulties were overcome in the process.  The plan focused on:

  • Structured conference calls
  • Daily e-mail communication
  • Electronic transfer of CAD files, and
  • Regular monthly on-site workshop meetings

With a predetermined agenda, the monthly visits reinforced the team's commitment to move the project forward. It allowed resolution of open issues that could not have been resolved without face-to-face interaction and open dialog to understand the subtleties of important concern's.

The unique design also presented the biggest risk from an operational and business perspective.  It was critical to convey the cinema technical and operational requirements to the developer's team, for inclusion in the overall plan in a timely fashion.  Layout efficiency and long term maintenance requirements were a major economic concern.  To mitigate this risk, several steps were taken.  Among them:

  • Retained MJM Architects with cinema and international experience to lead the design team
  • Developed technical scope of work document, clearly outlining responsibilities for coordination and execution
  • Early tender of cinema FF&E package
  • Recruited local project management resources to execute FF&E fit-out

Assembling and organizing a project team with the appropriate skill and experience early in the process is vital for overall success.  Working together, the team was able to define and organize it's activities, maximizing their effectiveness in delivering the project requirements. 

Other projects:

Owner/Developer: Zwerenz & Krause
Vienna, Austria

Rdiger Lainer Architects
Vienna, Austria

Design Architect:
MJM Architects
Toronto, Ontario Canada

Owner PM:
Fritsch, Chiari & Partner
Vienna, Austria

General Contractor:
Vienna, Austria

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