In 1896 during the European Industrial Revolution, the city of Vienna built four large gasometers. The containers were used to help supply Vienna with coal gas and each had a storage capacity of 90,000 m³. At the time, the design was the largest in all of Europe that laid more than 500 km (300 miles) of gas lines. The structures have found a new use in modern times.
In 1978, The Gasometers were designated as protected historic landmarks and were retired in 1984 due to new technologies in gasometer construction, as well as the city’s conversion from coal gas to natural gas. During the years after their decommission, they were used for various purposes, including being used as a setting in the movie James Bond: The Living Daylights and as a venue to host the Gazometer-Raves. Sound in the large round structures reverberated and exhibited a special echo that was popular to the ravers, and the term Gazometer was well-known in the scene.
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. 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 modernized Gasometers include a music hall, 12-screen movie theater, 800 apartments, a day care center, and over 70 shops, restaurants, bars and cafes.