I am proud to be deputy chairwoman to the arts & cultural association “Kunst- & Kulturverein Brotfabrik Wien“. These 17.000 squaremeters of this former bread factory is home to numerous galleries, creative businesses, community arts projects, music, handcraft, a craft brewery and so much more.
Working on this lively invites me to explore so many great projects and faces again and again. Feel like discovering it too?
Find out more information: www.brotfabrik.wien
The History of the more than 120 year old Ankerbrotfabrik is closely related to Viennese history.
1891 Heinrich and Fritz Mendl founded the the Viennese Bakery “Heinrich und Fritz Mendl” near Laaerberg in Favoriten. On all their products an anchor was imprinted. This anchor became the logo of the company and later on gave the company it’s new name. Friedrich Schön who was a leading industrial architect and student of Theophil Hansen was employed to build the factory. He designed the building in a U-shaped manner and included a „Schwarzbäckerei”, a bakery dedicated to only baking brown bread, a storeroom, a cart and a horse shed, as well as a residential and office building. The construction was led by Jacob Zeidlinger and the costs accounted for roughly 80.000 crowns. The fundamental structure consists of brick and interior walls as it is typical for buildings in Favoriten constructed around the turn of the century. The company grew and in just 10 years became the biggest bakery in Europe. Since 1907 the company is officially listed as a „K.u.K. Hoflieferant”. In the First World War the Ankerbrotfabrik became one of the most important food suppliers. 1920 250 horse carriages delivered roughly 150 tons of baked goods daily. Even back then the company had 100 branches and 2000 employees.
Early on the Mendl brothers focused on innovative marketing strategies. Around 1930 they developed the well-known slogan „Worauf freut sich der Wiener, wenn er vom Urlaub kommt? Auf Hochquellwasser und Ankerbrot.” (What does the Viennese look forward to when returning from a vacation? Springwater and Ankerbrot), which was used over 30 years in different poster series. 1938 the factory was aryanised and the Mendl family managed to flee into exile. During the war the factory got heavily damaged nevertheless managed to keep up production. In April 1945 an emergency program was launched with the purpose of supplying the viennese inhabitants. The founding fathers Mendl returned and the Ankerbrotfabrik was given back into their care.
After multiple ownership changes and economic struggle the Ankerbrotfabrik was bought by the family Ostendorf. With the new owners came an extensive restructuring programme which led to the abandonment of the historical part of the bread factory. This abandoned building was facing demolition but saved from it’s fate in 2009 when acquired by „Loft City GmbH & Co KG”. In close distance to the still existing production of the Ankerbrot AG, on 17.000 of the altogether 68.000 square meters of the Ankerbrotfabrik the new cultural hotspot Brotfabrik Wien is coming into being. It features halls, galleries, studios, offices, lofts and restaurants. The therefore chosen buildings are located around two inner courtyards of the old institution. In this process the buildings, under a preservation order are not only maintained but partly rebuilt to match their original condition.
The interesting history of the Ankerbrot AG and the latest developments on the factory premises have been published in the book „Ankerbrot – Die Geschichte einer großen Bäckerei” (the history of a great bakery) by Brandstätter-Verlag. The book was presented in the October of 2011 on the occasion of the 120 year company anniversary of Ankerbrot.