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Air defense tower becomes computer centre

Long discussions have now led to a revival of the air defense towers (Flakturm) in Arenbergpark in Vienna-Landstrasse. Next year, the smaller tower will be used as a computer centre and the bigger one will be used for exhibitions by the MAK museum.

An IT company rented the smaller tower and is planning to use it as a computer centre. They will invest eight million Euros in the project. The bigger tower or "MAK-Tower" has been used for a depot of contemporary art and will now also be used for exhibitions.

The MAK museum is planning exhibitions of contemporary art for next year. The tower is currently closed due to adaptations.

Peter Noever, the former director of the museum, suggested the building of a bar at the roof of the tower. His plans have, however, been dropped, which pleases a civil initiative that protested against the project.

The six air defense towers of Vienna were built in World War II by NS-architect Friedrich Tamms. There are still two towers in Augarten, two in Arenbergpark and one each in the Stiftskaserne and in Esterhazypark.

The architect chose to build two towers next to each other: there were air and missile defense guns at the turret and facilities such as radio and floodlights on the other tower.

However, the towers could not be used as they were supposed to: the allied forces flew very high and thus out of reach of the tower. The towers became more significant as buildings used for air-raid protection: the walls are seven metres wide and the towers have a self-sufficient power and water supply.

Nowadays, the towers are protected buildings and, according to a study of the City of Vienna in 2002, they shall keep their status of a war memorial.

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