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Dorfschmiede (Village Smithy)


Digitalisation and global networking are creating completely new concepts of work and life. The project „Dorfschmiede“ combines traditional rural life with the possibilities and ideas of our time.
This project started when a company that builds tiny houses was looking for a village that had the infrastructure to enable self-sufficient, self-determined and sustainable living and economic activity. 90 Austrian villages registered, Gutenstein in Lower Austria was chosen. It had an ideal production hall for the tiny houses with its own water and hydroelectric power supply. For community purposes, a suitable location was still missing, which was found in the disused inn „Gutensteiner Hof“ (now Dorfschmiede). A cooperative was founded to buy and renovate the inn. The cooperative with about 50 members has chosen the „asset pool“ model. Each member is part owner of the property. It serves as a platform to enable lively togetherness in the village (e.g. workshops, lectures, dance courses, gastronomy, a shop, etc.).
New businesses have settled here and existing jobs have been preserved (e.g. a community kitchen gardens, a market garden, a woodchip solar plant, carpenters, etc.). Synergies are being sought in all of them.