The grounds of what used to be Linz’s tobacco processing plant will be the extraordinary featured venue of this year’s Ars Electronica Festival. The Tabakfabrik’s history goes back to 1850, when the Austrian State Tobacco Company began producing cigars and pipe & chewing tobacco here. The plant was expanded in stages and production stepped up over the years. The workforce grew rapidly; over 1,000 people (mostly women) were already working here by 1855. From 1930 to 1935, architects Peter Behrens (German) and Alexander Popp (Austrian) expanded the plant complex-including the erection of Austria’s first major steel-frame construction edifice-and thereby created one of the most rigorously designed industrial facilities ever produced by International Modernism. The Tabakfabrik is now protected as a historic landmark.