Arsenal / "Filmmuseum LAB" (Foto: ÖFM © Eszter Kondor)
Filmmuseum LAB
New Location for Conservation Center
and Digital Lab in Vienna
The Austrian Film Museum is entering a new era: this summer building will commence for a new storage vault and conservation center in central Vienna. Filmmuseum LAB will establish a center of excellence for film preservation, digitization, study, and education on the grounds of the historical "Arsenal" barracks managed by ART for ART, a federal arts company. In 2024, the Film Museum will relocate its collections from its current location in the suburbs of Heiligenstadt to the new facility.
Located at Heiligenstädter Straße 175 (1190 Vienna) since 1982, the collections of the Austrian Film Museum encompass more than 500,000 objects (film, photography, documentation, and digital collections). The film collection includes a comprehensive selection of significant film works of all genres and periods, as well as thousands of historical filmic records. The film-related collection includes valuable materials contextualizing film history, from estates of film artists to promotional materials and press reviews. Since 2020, the Film Museum has carried out mandatory deposit of digital film works funded by the Federal Governments "Innovative Film Austria" program.
The new Filmmuseum LAB will be constructed in collaboration with the ART for ART Theaterservice GmbH, a subsidiary of the National Theatre Company (Bundestheater Holding). ART for ART owns the property where rehearsal spaces for the State Opera and Burgtheater are located alongside costume and props workshops, and a depot. As part of the development of the site, ART for ART plans to establish a "cultural hub" for the visual and performing arts, photography, and film in collaboration with a variety of actors and institutions.
An approx. 1,500 m2 modern storage facility for film elements, film-related documents, and digital collections will be built at the current site of Arsenal's "Objekt 19" heritage building. A "living archive" and "artistic laboratory," the building will also serve artists and creators, researchers, curators, and other public and non-profit organizations as a center of expertise for studying, conserving, and digitizing film in Vienna. For the first time, the site will also provide the appropriate conditions for the many training and continuing education programs offered by the Film Museum in collaboration with many universities.
Planning and building will commence in summer 2022 with an estimated construction time of two years. The additional funds required for its operation (€400,000 per annum) will be borne equally by the Ministry of the Arts, Culture, the Civil Service and Sport and the City of Vienna (MA 7) in the form of an increased annual subsidy.
Michael Loebenstein am Standort des zukünftigen "Filmmuseum LAB" (Foto: ÖFM © Eszter Kondor)
"We are very pleased that the completion of this project will validate the importance of our work promoting film as an artform and cultural technology.
With Filmmuseum LAB, it will be possible to preserve, curate and research our unique collections of film and documentation sustainably and Vienna will gain a new hotspot for film culture. For the first time, artists, researchers, and our partners in the educational and cultural fields will have a central location in Vienna for working with film, carrying out digitization projects, and actively integrating analog and digital film into their own creative and educational activities. We see Filmmuseum LAB as a major step towards modernization and sustainability."

Michael Loebenstein (Director of the Austrian Film Museum)