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Concept for the conversion of the old customs houses in Bad Radkersburg, on the Austrian border

The acquisition of the former Bad Radkersburg customs houses financed by art collector Reinhard Diethardt (diethardt collection graz) has given rise to new and exceptional opportunities with the potential to exemplify the idea of Europe, embodying the transformation of a separated past into a common future.

The realisation of the ZOLLAMT transborder project is based on experience from earlier WERKSTADT GRAZ projects and the resulting EVIS / ZOLLAMT association. The following projects have been implemented in this context since 1995:
- Programme for guest artists and collaboration with the municipal museum of Slovenj Gradec
- ACRE – (network & city projects)
- Since 2004: Project BASIS.TUNNEL
- 1st May 2004: GRENZE / MENJUK – Day of the EU – Opening of the borders (Schengen Agreement)

The project benefits from the historic and symbolic location of Bad Radkersburg as a border town, its two customs houses, its unique location at the meeting-point of three countries, and longstanding contacts with artists, academics and cultural institutions from the neighbouring countries. All of these key aspects underpinning the project have helped to make it a venue for interdisciplinary events. It is equipped with a communication system for this purpose – an Internet platform – that serves to network dialogues and discourses, enabling interconnected exchange around the world.

Built in 1973, renovated and modernised in the 1990s by architect Alfred Bramberger, the functional buildings of the customs houses are suitable for conversion into an open space for art and culture. They are in good structural condition. Downstairs are the former service areas, on the lower ground floor the storage rooms and the bathroom. The annexe is situated across the street, with an underground level in part. Besides the offices, a garage for trucks has been adapted into a venue for lectures, workshops, screenings, concerts and readings. The redevelopment was carried out carefully in order to preserve the character of the architecture. During the complete overhaul of the power supply lines, a functional lighting system, an energy-efficient heating system and new flooring were put in.

Personal contribution: A number of artists and residents of Bad Radkersburg helped with the conversion. Their great commitment sent a clear signal showing the significance of the project in establishing identity.