The Zollverein Mine and Coking Plant outside Essen in Germany is a vast industrial landscape of heavy industrial production. Founded in 1847, it was with the opening of Shaft 12 in 1932 and the spectacular architecture by Fritz Schupp and Martin Kremmer in the style of New Objectivity that the shaft's characteristic Doppelbock winding tower became the symbol of German heavy industry.
A UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2001, UNESCO cited two key factors in their assessment of the site as a cultural asset of world importance:
‘The Zollverein Coal Mine Industrial Complex in Essen is an exceptional industrial monument by virtue of the fact that its buildings are outstanding examples of the application of the design concepts of the Modern Movement in architecture in a wholly industrial context. The technological and other structures of Zollverein XII are representative of a crucial period in the development of traditional heavy industries in Europe, which were reinforced through the parallel development and application of Modern Movement architectural designs of outstanding quality.’
The Shaft 12 complex is split into 20 individual buildings, which articulate the technical work and production processes of coal mining along the Bauhaus maxim that form has to be determined by function. Designed down to the details of lamps, stair railings, and door handles, the Coal Mine and Coking Plant is a total work of art and represents the social, economic, aesthetic, and industrial history of the coal and steel age.
Now known as 'the most beautiful Coal Mine in the world,' it has become an international cultural hub with museums, art studios, cultural foundations, commerce, and leisure occupying the former industrial architecture. An extensive park knits together the vast site and encourages the establishment of a biodiverse and enchanting landscape in which nature is becoming the dominant force after over a century of heavy industrial use.

You might also like...

Back to Top