The first structure in Austria built from ready made concrete elements by architect Gerhard Garstenauer was built in the storied alpine SPA town of Bad Gastein. Today this Congress center stands abandoned surrounded by more abandoned buildings, all in the style of old grand hotels. The congress center looks like a UFO that landed and never left. No costs were spared at construction and interior design, B&B italia sofas and arm chairs, custom made carpets etc. Surrounded by spectacular alpine views, one easily can imagine the time when kings, queens and celebrities used to summer here. In the 80s there was a short revival, sheiks and U2 came to party and ski, the hottest club in town at the time was also in the congress center. These pictures were taken during a residency in the alpine village in 2015, since then Bad Gastein has gained more and more acclaim as an off-beat, quirky destination. The movie "The Grand Budapest Hotel" taking some of its inspiration from it certainly did not hurt.
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