About two weeks ago, my colleague Ela wrote about the “Richtfest” at THE FIZZ Hamburg. The ceremony with the wreath or tree, do you remember? (Here’s her blogpost to refresh your memory!)
Well, so many countries, so many customs: In Austria, this occasion for celebrating the completion of a building’s shell is called “Gleichenfeier”. At THE FIZZ Vienna Main Station, we celebrated on May 8th and here is what you missed.
Our Gleichenfeier was a big thing to all construction workers to whom this event is ususally dedicated – but it was for us too! It was the first time we invited people into our soon to be student residence (Imagine cleaning up a construction site for a party… you will never every complain about tidying your room!). Therefore, we hosted a reception with, of course, snacks and drinks for press, media and project partners prior to the traditional ceremony, the Gleichenspruch.
After channeling strength from a glass of wine or juice, we headed up to the roof terrace on the 5th floor. There, the official part of the event took place. Fun fact: A construction site is very likely to NOT have any elevators. Our caterer had to put all his equipment up to the roof with a crane! Anyway. To start the ceremony, General Contractor Hugo Semmelrock welcomed his guests briefly and gave floor to the "Polier" (site manager - he is responsible for all the construction workers) doing the Gleichenspruch:
Afterwards, it was time for us, International Campus Austria, to thank the building contractors for their hard but excellent work, followed by the project’s investors Union Investment Real Estate GmbH. Marcus Franz, the district leader of Vienna Favoriten, also paid us a visit and addressed a few words to the audience.
In the mood for food? Every proper Gleichenfeier or Richtfest reaches its climax when the buffet is declared open. With all speeches and other duties done, everyone can relax and enjoy the rest of the evening. Rumor has it that some people were seen leaving the construction site around midnight!
I am sure you have at least once put your signature onto a friend's plaster after breaking an arm or leg. We surely did not hurt anyone at the Gleichenfeier but we also managed for our guests to literally leave their mark on our building - or rather a wooden bench. Instead of plasters, our guests had the chance to sign our bank either with a pen or with a soldering iron.
Now, our plan is to seal the wood and put the bank into the park surrounding THE FIZZ Vienna Main Station as soon as possible. It will be a memento of the first public event at THE FIZZ Vienna Main Station - a place were many parties are likely to follow because...
© photos by ViennaShots