Revitalising old buildings often results in the cannibalisation of the interior while preserving the façade, citing “contemporary uses” and “modern facilities” as excuses. The Zacherlfabrik proves that it doesn’t necessarily have to be so. The old structures as well as the important Ottoman façade have been maintained and thoroughly renovated. This respectful refurbishment has given the building a sombre, old-world aura, making it a precious place for the people of Vienna to enjoy arts and music. The Zacherlfabrik operates as a non-profit organisation financed by private donors and can therefore afford to host art and musical performances away from the mainstream. Thus, it is one of those very rare places where sublime art finds its home in a regal building.

This and more inspiring projects can be found in the print copy of A smart guide to Utopia or the ebook version.