I encountered this building recently. It’s quite surprising on first appearances, but gets even more surprising when you find out what function the building actually serves. It’s reminiscent of Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory.
So here’s what we’ll do: First person to tell me what this building is will win a prize. It’s a simple prize: I’ll send you 10euro (to a PayPal account).
Answers in the comments below, and I’ll contact the winner (so be sure to include your email!).
Update: Congrats to Brian Hamilton, who was the first respondent and had the correct answer.
The Building is the Spittelau Incinerator, in Vienna, Austria. It’s located bang in the centre of the city, and is one of two incinerators in the metropolitan area. More information on the “fernwarme” (as it is known) is available in english here, and the plant is lauded by the UN here (no. 86).
And now to the real reason for this post. What does this mean, particularly with reference to Ireland? Is this a way of making a potentially controversial public building into less of a problem, or is the design and decoration simply a way of papering over the bigger cracks that the incineration system brings with it?
This is an important question for Ireland- an Incinerator has been approved at Poolbeg in Co Cork, and another is proposed (but widely opposed) for Ringsend in Co Dublin. There is likely to be more proposed around the country (at this stage, none has been proposed on any basis for Co Donegal). There is a need for debate on the issue. The Austrians are very proud of their environmental record, and see incineration as an integral part of their waste management strategy. Is it possible this can be the same for Ireland, or is it unacceptable?
Please leave your comments below, or get in contact with me directly.