In the Werfen district of Tenneck (Pongau), there are further discussions as to whether the 70-year-old iron works settlement should be listed as a monument. Rudolf Weinberger, as the owner of the industrial company, is in favor of this, as are the residents of the workers’ houses. The GSWB cooperative prefers to build from scratch.
The decision has not yet been made. It’s about a hundred workers’ apartments. For years now, the settlement has no longer belonged to the Tenneck ironworks, but to the GSWB. For the non-profit housing developer it is clear that the system can no longer be renovated. New buildings are needed: “The room heights are too low, there is a lack of accessibility,” says GSWB Managing Director Christian Lechner: “The sanitary facilities are outdated and there are not enough parking spaces.”
Hubert Stock, Mayor of Werfen (ÖVP), shares these views: “Of course, the older residents are used to this settlement. And any change is difficult for them. But younger families in particular are no longer willing to move in under these standards.” The municipality therefore advocates demolition and new construction.
Residents told the ORF that they were strictly against new houses: “The GSWB should invest in the existing ones.”
“Bringing history up to today’s standard”
The Federal Monuments Office has placed the settlement under temporary protection until a final decision is made. Experts have been examining the ensemble over the past few weeks.
Photo series with 9 pictures
Company boss fights for preservation
Ironworks owner Rudolf Weinberger is against the demolition. He calls for monument protection for this architecture of earlier worker and industrial culture in the province of Salzburg: “The houses can certainly be renovated. Of course, making a disabled entrance is difficult. But it’s not true that the apartments can’t be brought up to today’s standards.”
“Unique in Austria”
For Weinberger, it is not only the individual buildings of the old factory settlement that are worth protecting, but the whole ensemble: “You don’t find anything like this in the whole of Austria anymore. It is the opposite of the soulless prefabricated buildings that are being built today.”
Should the Federal Monuments Office finally put the settlement in Werfen-Tenneck under legal protection, then demolition and new construction are off the table anyway. Then you have to think about a classic renovation at GSWB, willy-nilly.