FILMARCHIV GOES GREEN

The nitrate film repository was awarded the Austrian Solar Prize and the Lower Austrian prize for best wooden building.

THE NITRATE FILM REPOSITORY

With the establishment of the new nitrate film repository at its Laxenburg location just outside Vienna the FAA has created an innovative center for the preservation and restoration of films as well as a home for Austria’s audio-visual heritage. By reviving long-forgotten traditions of film storage technology and combining them with an architecture that employs the most advanced sustainable building methods, the nitrate film repository has opened up new perspectives for the archival of artistic creations.

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The guiding principle in designing the structure was to maximize the use of renewable building materials and energy systems. Drawing inspiration from Japanese wooden boxes, in which the oldest nitrate films have been known to survive even under the most severe climatic conditions, the nitrate film repository in Laxenburg is the world’s first archival building to be built entirely from wood. Thanks to an innovative energy concept, the repository runs entirely on eco-friendly electricity. The massive building envelope, designed to passive-house specifications, accounts for the fact that despite its state-of-the-art air-conditioning system the structure’s consumption of energy does not exceed that of a one-family house.

 

The design of the building’s outer shell is uncompromisingly functional. The architectural firm Jordan, which was in charge of planning, has created a structure that is powerful in an almost contemplative way, its clear and pure outline the perfect expression of the FAA’s work’s cultural dimension. Suggestively embedded in the surrounding natural scenery, the nitrate film repository glows in the landscape like a temple of the arts. The red entrance to the edifice, modelled on the sumptuous entrances of old movie palaces, is nothing less than an architectural invitation to rediscover, over and over again, the visual worlds of the past.

 

The nitrate film repository was awarded the Austrian Solar Prize and the Lower Austrian prize for best wooden building.

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Der Bürgergarten des Filmarchiv Austria wurde 2013 von der Stadt Wien mit der Plakette »Naturnahe Grünoase« prämiert.

THE FAA'S CITIZEN GARDEN AUGARTEN

In 2010, the FAA established a citizen garden at its Augarten location, a decision motivated in part by the painful experience of seeing a section of the public Augarten Park privatized and built up. Civil society’s appropriation of the remaining park area at the Augartenspitz and the subsequent establishment of the citizen garden – the brainchild of Renate Ablinger and Ernst Kieninger ‒ have transformed this into a public space in the best sense of the word.

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Since 2015, the Viennese urban-garden pioneer Eva Vesovnik has been in charge of the FAA’s citizen garden project. Today, the FAA grounds at the Augarten boast an award-winning garden paradise, a green oasis that during the summer season also hosts the annual open-air festival Kino wie noch nie [Cinema Like Never Before]. The organic fruits and vegetables grown there provide the Grünstern Urban Garden kitchen in the Augarten and at the METRO Kinokulturhaus with a steady supply of fresh ingredients.

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THE GRÜNSTERN URBAN GARDEN KITCHEN

Since 2012, the Grünstern garden kitchen has been an indispensable component of the FAA’s open-air festival Kino wie noch nie [Cinema like never before] in the Augarten. High-quality, seasonal, organic produce grown in or near Vienna and prepared right after harvesting plays the leading role in an array of wonderful, simple dishes bursting with intense flavors.

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By popular request, this winning formula has been replicated in the new METRO Kinokulturhaus. In 2015, the Grünstern team took up quarters at the Kinokulturhaus in new interiors designed by Gregor Eichinger, and since then has been in charge of providing the entire house with culinary delights. Thus, right in the heart of Vienna a culinary urban-garden laboratory has come into being, where over the course of the year’s seasons the sensual pleasures afforded by produce grown on the little plot around the corner are both demonstrated and celebrated. In other respects, too, the Grünstern urban-garden-kitchen philosophy is a perfect match for our institution: promoting diversity, rediscovering old strains, preserving the cultural heritage are all priorities shared by the Film Archive and the Grünstern team in equal measure.

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THE PALLET PAVILION

Built as a temporary structure in 2013 from recycled Euro pallets, the spectacular garden pavilion houses the Grünstern kitchen, caterer for the FAA’s open-air summer screenings. The idea for the project was conceived as the FAA was looking for an eco-friendly structure that would not only provide a roof for the Grünstern kitchen and the festival guests but also blend in with the surrounding nature garden.

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The Pallet Pavilion originated in a project by German architect Matthias Loebermann, who, together with a group of students from Biberach college, developed the concept as a contribution to sustainable, temporary building. The idea they came up with was as simple as it was convincing: Euro pallets ‒ cheap, globally standardized platforms for moving goods ‒ would serve as the structure’s basic building blocks. Loebermann devised a simple stacking system yielding sophisticated sculptures whose dynamic curves and radii can make them seem almost organic.

 

A prototype of the project attracted much attention when it was unveiled at the World Ski Championships in Garmisch-Partenkirchen. In the course of a workshop he gave in Vienna, Matthias Loebermann, together with FAA staff members and activists from the citizen garden, worked out a concept that was tailor-made for the Augarten site. In a brainstorming session full of fascinating group dynamics the eventual shape of the structure, balancing aesthetic considerations and functional demands, was quasi-collectively arrived at.

 

The Pallet Pavilion was built in June 2013 ‒ just in time for that year’s open-air film festival. Since then, every summer the Pallet Pavilion has cast its spell on the guests of Cinema Like Never Before.

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ZERO EMISSION MOBILITY

 

For many years, the Film Archive Austria has been actively addressing questions of institutional responsibility for the environment. Keeping the ecological footprint caused by in-house mobility as small as possible is becoming increasingly important. To achieve this objective, the FAA began to implement concrete measures early on.

 

Substantial reductions in CO2 have been effected through the FAA’s acquisition of three electric cars in April 2005. Since then, the mini-vans, which are one hundred percent emission-free, have been used to commute between Vienna and Laxenburg. The electric vans’ range is sufficient to easily cover the distance in both directions, and the duration of the journey equates that of conventional cars.

At the Augarten location, the vans are recharged overnight with eco-electricity. Every year, more than ten tons of CO2 are saved this way. Maintenance costs for the vans are 50% less than for vehicles running on gas.