For more than 341 years the building was a production site (textiles, later tobacco goods). The Tabakfabrik Linz became a Symbol for recovery by transformation.
Already 341 years ago, industry established itself on the site of today's Tabakfabrik Linz (tobacco factory). Back then the factory was used for textile production, from 1850 on for manufacturing tobacco goods. The tobacco industry was privatised from the late 1990s onwards. In 2001, the British Gallaher group bought the company Austria Tabak AG and sold it to Japan Tobacco International. In 2008 the company decided to close the factory. Instead of leaving the site empty, the city of Linz became owner in 2009. The creative industries were seen as a key factor in urban and regional development for Linz. Since that time, the promotion of the creative industries has been a clear focus of the Tabakfabrik.
Where once 8.000 cigarettes churned out per minute and machine, creative sparks are lit. At present, the erstwhile tobacco plant of Austria Tabak, former Austrian tobacco monopole, emerges as an urban centre for cultural and creative industries. In its redesign the revitalized industrial building, hub for contemporary technologies and creative industries, does not define itself as a conventional museum or venue. Rather, it is a workbench, stage, laboratory, rehearsal room, collaborative concern and ultimately, fabricating urban quarter – one of a kind. The landmarked industrial plant, designed by Peter Behrens, is not only deemed as a promising chance in town planning. It also serves as a projection screen for the cultural and economic future of Linz.

Resources needed

Investments €38 million (incl. acquisition cost of €17 million) of the City of Linz, funding for construction of ~€ 5 million, Private investment of €155 million, Debt financing of €74 million, EU-funding of €1.5 million

From 2,5 FTE at the beginning to 22 FTE nowadays to run the practice

Evidence of success

There are more jobs at Tabakfabrik Linz than before the closing of the production – 1,800 workers (3,000 planned in 2024) and around 250 companies

Regional and global networking since the concept of Tabakfabrik Linz is already implemented in other regions

Perceived player for enterprises and industrial companies of start ups (measurement as collaborative group)

Tabakfabrik is perceived as wheel within the society

Home of the creative industry of Upper Austria – but there should be s

Potential for learning or transfer

With around 205,000 jobs available, Linz has more employment than inhabitants and is one of the most booming economic centres in all of Austria. But as globalisation proceeded, jobs at former successful industrial sectors became insecure. To stay competitive, the region had to transform and adopt itself. In 2009 the policymakers decided to buy the former tabacco factory, where about 284 people worked before the closing. Today more than 250 companies are located at the area, with approximately 1,700 employees.
After the city of Linz bought the area, a wide bottom-up process, with all kind of stake holders, has started. The main goal was the revitalisation of the area and the settlement of creative industries.

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Main institution
City of Linz
Oberösterreich, Austria (Österreich)
Start Date
January 2009
End Date


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