The Sargfabrik is much more than a housing model— it’s a way of life. Along with the luxurious roof garden, a range of common areas creates a landscape of communication and pleasure, with a cultural house, restaurant, kindergarten, and twenty-four-hour bathhouse that is also publically accessible. Parking spaces for cars were kept to a minimum in order to make room for the swimming area, and only by designating the building a “residence hall” could public funding be secured. The Sargfabrik and Miss Sargfabrik are owned by the Association for Integrative Lifestyle (VIL), which rents out the seventy-five units—maisonettes with floor areas of 45 m2, with the possibility of linking up to six units—modeled as a collective. There is very little turnover. Identification and dedication are already evident in the second generation, some of whom have no intention of moving further away than the neighboring Miss Sargfabrik, the younger sociotope offshoot. Its thirty-nine units, including a number of living-working-ateliers, provide for new spatial experiences with angled walls and inclined floors. A community kitchen, library, and rehearsal room serve to augment the Sargfabrik’s facilities.
Village within the city
Village within the City Voices in the Sargfabrik Vienna, October 2008
“There is a specter haunting capitalism’s globalization, the specter of a new collectivism. We experience this specter daily now.” Blake Stimson and Gregory Sholette
Chamber of Transformation and Chatterboxes
“The Sargfabrik is a village within the city. But it is not a place of retreat. It is about individual power, one’s own identity.” “It really is totally like a village. There are lots of chatterboxes, blah, blah, blah. This happened to her or this happened to him, you hear it right away. Everything makes the rounds very quickly here.” “There is a tightly knit communication structure with verbal and nonverbal levels. The fact that there are two entryways, from two different sides, is also very important.” “One is incorporated into one’s own community.”
The Sargfabrik is the multiplication of its stories. Inherent in its objective is a dynamism unleashing ever new energies for the ongoing project by the name of Sargfabrik. Once a goal is reached, it is then transformed in the perpetuation of the status quo, so that the goal is transformed into many small goals that invite collaboration. “Many have their own interests, all of which they can make happen here. There is room for everything here.” This is the place for it. “The possibility for something new being created is a constant. I enjoy working with the garments. Today we’re holding a chamber of transformation. My garments are there, to be tried on. We have put on fashion shows, like Adam 2000, like Eva 2000.” The collaborative work arises through the location. The initial spark is easily ignited collectively. Even though the interests may tend to completely deviate in respect to details, a wide range of diversified interests and a high level of motivation potential are collected in the smallest possible space. “They are actually all quite similar, but at the same time there are differences.” “When one is trying to find lodging for fifty people from Kosovo, it is possible here. Politically speaking, this really is terrific. The relative naturalness with which things are done. The location makes a great deal possible.” ...
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