Thursday, 12 November 2015

gasworks gallery

The ever inquisitive Nag on the Lake has a nice vignette about the creative repurposing of the elegant, Victorian girders of the Pancras Gasholder to frame a nice park in London, which reminded me of the Gasometers we’ve encountered reinvented and venues for a wide variety of displays.

Not a meter but rather a container, like a water tower (which are also beautiful works of architecture), the function of these mammoth structures was to store a large volume of natural gas in situ ready for local use—to power gas lighting originally and then for heating. When more and more gasworks became redundant (though some are still in use in many areas for balancing pressure), municipalities faced challenges in reclaiming the real estate as the business was a dirty one but there are quite a few notable and creative solutions that incorporate the original casing, like apartment blocks in Vienna, or rather famously the Gasometer of Leipzig, which now hosts a visual panorama (das Panometer) that displays—across a huge canvas of some thirty meters by one hundred meters, the largest photographs in the world, accented by light and sound effects and sweeping vistas.