Every so often, one must question the wisdom of posting about certain places. There are things to bear in mind: how relevant is the venue? Are there things that might prevent somebody from coming? Is this venue too sacred to be advertised to the masses? The Sargfabrik falls into this category.
The Sargfabrik is tucked away in the fourteenth district, well away from the usual tourist track. Built on the site of a former coffin works, it was conceived as a ‘communal self-governing housing project with an advanced cultural programme’. It is one of the most eclectic places I have ever visited. Non-residents find swimming baths, a concert venue, conferencing facilities, a Kindergarten and a restaurant. I don’t know very much about the culture of the Sargfabrik – specifically, what it is like to live there – but for sure, it’s special. There is a palpably close sense of community.
The restaurant is charming and there is fresh Mediterranean style food to be enjoyed. I have never visited the baths. You have to be ‘invited’ by a member, and there is a good reason. It’s not for everyone. To give you a sense of the openness, going nude isn’t just recommended, it is encouraged; ‘the choice of wearing a bathing gown is yours alone to make’.
If you fancy visiting, the easiest way is to take either the S45 train to Breitensee, or the U4 to Hietzing, followed by a short walk. It is a utopia Thomas More might appreciate.