The Gasometers in Vienna are four former gas tanks, each of 90,000 m³ storage capacity, built as part of the Vienna municipal gas works Gaswerk Simmering in 1896–1899. They are located in the 11th district, Simmering. They were used from 1899 to 1984 as gas storage tanks. After the changeover from town gas to natural gas between 1969 and 1978, they were no longer used and were shut down. Only the brick exterior front walls were preserved. The structures have found new residential and commercial use in modern times.
In 1978, they were designated as protected historic landmarks. Vienna undertook a remodelling and revitalization of the protected monuments and in 1995 called for ideas for the new use of the structures. The chosen designs by the architects Jean Nouvel (Gasometer A), Coop Himmelblau (Gasometer B), Manfred Wehdorn (Gasometer C) and Wilhelm Holzbauer (Gasometer D) were completed between 1999 and 2001.
On 30 October 2001, the mayor attended the official grand opening of the Gasometers, but people had begun moving in as early as May 2001.
Each gasometer was divided into several zones for living (apartments in the top), working (offices in the middle floors) and entertainment and shopping (shopping malls in the ground floors). The shopping mall levels in each gasometer are connected to the others by skybridges. The historic exterior wall was conserved. One of the ideas rejected for the project was the plan by architect Manfred Wehdorn to use the Gasometers for hotels and facilities for the planned World Expo in Vienna and Budapest.The Gasometers have developed a village character all their own and are a city within a city. A true sense of community has developed, and both a large physical housing community (of tenants) as well as an active virtual internet community (Gasometer Community) have formed.
Numerous theses and dissertations in psychology, urban planning, journalism and architecture have been written about this phenomenon.Indoor facilities include a music hall (capacity 2000–3000 people), movie theatre, student dormitory, municipal archive, and so on. There are about 800 apartments (two thirds within the historic brick walls) with 1600 regular tenants, as well as about 70 student apartments with 250 students in residence.The project comprises about 620 apartments, offices and shops.What remained was the outer skin of 90,000 cubic meters monumental brick cylinders that are now under protection as monuments of history and for their classical design.