Coal washery, Mine Zollverein

This industrial monument with the status of a world heritage site is now the scene for the design and architecture of tomorrow: the "Entry" exhibition in the coal washery of the former coal mine "Zollverein" - with light from ERCO.

The former coal washery represents the biggest construction volume of Zollverein. Back in the 1930s, this old coal mine in Essen was considered the most modern pit of its time; today, it has achieved the status of a world heritage site. The industrial site was redeveloped along the designs of Rem Koolhaas and will in future house the new Ruhr Museum. The opening, however, will be celebrated with the "Entry 2006" - an exhibition of prospects and visions in design (26 August - 3 December 2006).

In the redesigned coal washery, the listed inventory forms attractive, at times even stark contrasts with the modern fixtures and fittings - such as the new stairwell styled in intense orange.

In the course of the extensive conversion, the former coal silos were provided with an exhibition space measuring 7,000m² with different characteristics - from an airy hall to the labyrinthine succession of small cabinets.

A gigantic escalator initially transports the visitors up to "Ebene 24", a level 24m above ground. The reception will in future also act as a visitors centre for the mine facilities. The lighting - planned by Büro Licht Kunst Licht - follows a general concept which combines in one suspended sheet steel profile a cable link and indirect ceiling lighting with a 3-circuit track for the installation of spotlights and floodlights.

This multifunctional profile with its technical appearance seamlessly integrates into the surroundings, while at the same time enabling a highly flexible illumination of the traffic zones, event rooms, and exhibition spaces. To highlight the architectural models using appropriate lighting effects, for example, the designers have opted for Optec spotlights for low-voltage halogen lamps.

One of the highlights of the "Entry Paradise" show is the "Genetic Pavilion" designed by architect Chris Bosse (PTW Architects, Sydney, picture centre right). Here, the growth and optimisation algorithms of organic structures were transferred to the architecture. A temporary installation of ERCO varychrome luminaires with a Light System DALI ensures a magnificent flow of colour moods.

These gloriously colourful lighting effects turn the Genetic Pavilion with its delicate textile cover into an eyecatcher at the exhibition. Following a similar design principle, PTW Architects are currently devising the "Watercube" in Peking, the swimming pool for the 2008 Olympic Games.

Entry 2006
Ausstellungsgesellschaft Zollverein mbH
Zeche Zollverein
Schacht XII, Halle 6
Gelsenkirchener Straße 181
45309 Essen
Telephon: +49(0)201-8543.253
Fax: +49(0)0201-8543-255

Coal washery of mine Zollverein Pit Shaft XII
Construction period: 1928 to 1932
Architects: Fritz Schupp und Martin Kremmer
Total length: 90 m
Width: 30 m
Height: 37m (47m in the northern building section)
Material: at the bottom, concrete with massive supports; at the top, a steel framework

Master plan Zollverein 2001: Rem Koolhaas, Office for Metropolitan Architecture (O.M.A.)

Conversion of coal washery: Special partnership between O.M.A. and the architectural firm Böll / Krabel

Reconstruction: since 2003
Area: Gross floor space 16,000 m², useful area: 7,500 m², visitors centre on Ebene 24: 1,200 m².

Lighting design:
Licht Kunst Licht Bonn / Berlin

Genetic Pavillon
within the scope of the Entry 2006 - Entry Paradise
Coal washery, "Ebene 17"
Architect: Chris Bosse / PTW Architects, Sydney

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