The REAKTOR is a privately run transdisciplinary art institution based in Vienna that opened in February 2018 on the premises of what was once the Grand Etablissement Gschwandner. Here, on a total surface area of 1,200 m2, various forms of artistic expression are brought together and made accessible to the public. The focus is on film, space-defining art and music theatre, new music, jazz and experimental interpretations of contemporary music. The defining themes of the programming are situated on the event horizon of the existence of the individual and society, expressed through art in ways that are as unusual as they are transnational. As a result, audiences are treated to a modern-day arts salon of a highly entertaining kind. The REAKTOR is a showcase, workshop, initiator, principal, and producer, all rolled into one.

The highest of artistic aspirations and, consequently, critical scrutiny, exploration, enjoyment and aesthetics complement one another at the REAKTOR. Audiences are invited to consider a change of perspective through an entertaining mix of autonomous positions, sensory experiences, and surprising crossovers. Both the programming and the presentation are designed to enable audiences to gain their own personal and individual insights into the featured works.

Founded as an autonomous art institution by author, film maker and creative designer Bernhard Kammel, the REAKTOR is financially independent and enjoys complete freedom in its choice of content. To secure that autonomy, the premises are also leased out on a commercial basis for selected private functions. The cultural managers, Anna Resch and Sebastian Jobst, assist Bernhard Kammel with the programming and the overall management and PR.

The historical, late classicist REAKTOR building is defined by its century-old earlier function as a venue called Grand Etablissement Gschwandner. Between 1960 and 1980 the premises were used as an assembly shop for Ingelen radios and, thereafter, as a storage facility for theatre props. The entire building was sensitively refurbished in 2017, incorporating state-of-the art technical infrastructure into the historical fabric of the building, but in a way that is entirely reversible. What was once the Strauss-Lanner Hall is now a cinema auditorium equipped with the very latest technology.
The core of the REAKTOR, as it were, is comprised of three halls, each dating historically from different construction phases. Their spacious layout offers a high degree of flexibility for showcasing art in all its forms and dimensions. Bernhard Kammel created the interiors as a form of dialogue between the significant temporality of the structure and its timeless additions. He also designed the distinctive chandeliers specifically for the REAKTOR space. The old and the new blend in the mirroring reflections of the water glass flooring. And in order to preserve the venue’s distinctive atmosphere, Bernhard Kammel commissioned the art director of his latest film, Rudi Czettel, to design the patination for the new surface areas and their adaptation to the existing structure.