Life in the Coffin Factory

A documentary about the genesis of the Sargfabrik-housing project in Vienna’s 14th district.

In 1989 a group of some 30 activists acquires a property and the ruin of what used to bet the largest coffin factory in the times of the former Austrian-Hungarian monarchy. Step by step they turn it into a unique and exceptionally housing project. Since the opening in 1996 there are not only 112 flats but a kindergarden, a restaurant and a public bath. On historic videofootage from the the mid-eighties and in their very inspiring interviews the founders – together with the witty architect Johnny Winter – take us on a little tour through time. The protagonists give us an inspiring and diverse view of their common vision. They tell us about the exhausting process of decisionmaking and the permanent fight for participation in the ongoing building process. The movie shows a encouraging example of participative, collective owned housing. At the end we are confronted with the question: “Can we still turn such an idealistic plan into build reality?”

Year 2013
prj-fact-abbr LICF
49 min
i.a. shown inTogether! Die Neue Architektur der Gemeinschaft
Vitra Design Museum
Type Film
MVD Alexander Dworschak, Christine Schmauszer, Michael Rieper