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Refurbishing the Hundertwasser hat at Spittelau waste incineration plant, Vienna

Photo: close-up of the blue-and-red striped hat on the tower, viewed from the front, looking at the brim of the hat; in the background, a grey sky
Facts and Figures
Company Eisenschutzgesellschaft m.b.H.
PrincipalWien Energie
LocationVienna - Austria
Type Corrosion protection
Runtime05.2019 - 05.2019

Restoring the Hundertwasser hat to its former glory.

Commissioned in 1971, the Spittelau waste incineration plant in Vienna’s 9th district is one of three thermal waste treatment plants operated by Wien Energie. Thanks to its façade, which was designed by artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser, it is also a famous landmark of Vienna.

The colossal hat on top of one of the building’s small towers is certainly a distinctive feature. As the story goes, Hundertwasser lost his patience during a discussion with his client. He angrily stormed out of the meeting, shouting: “Ich hau den Hut drauf” – which means “I give up”, but literally translates as “I’ll throw my hat on it”. The client, however, actually liked this idea and added the hat to the plans.

In May 2019, Eisenschutzgesellschaft received an order to carry out corrosion-protection work to restore the hat to its former glory.

To begin with, we examined the existing coating and carried out some localised repairs. We then prepared the surface and applied a dual-layer polyurethane-based coating.

Our experts prepared the precise colour shades for the hat based on the original hand-written instructions of Friedensreich Hundertwasser. Wien Energie provided a scaffold to ensure we could access the hat safely. We completed the project within 10 days to the full satisfaction of our employer. The Hundertwasser hat will now continue to serve as a reminder of a great artist for decades to come.