Tradition and Transformation

Prof. Dr. Hans-Peter Noll, Chairman of the Board of Zollverein Foundation, presents his ten favourite places on the 100-hectare site of the Zollverein UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Zollverein is huge. It takes about 20 minutes to walk from the western edge of the Coking Plant to the Twin Pithead Frame, the heart of Shaft XII. On the 100-hectare UNESCO World Heritage Site, there are impressive spots and imposing sights, but also hidden gems and insider tips waiting to be discovered.

Prof. Dr. Hans-Peter Noll, Chairman of the Board of Zollverein FoundationUNESCO World Heritage Zollverein

During a short walk, Prof. Dr. Hans-Peter Noll, Chairman of the Board of Zollverein Foundation, shares his ten favourite places on the site.

View from the rooftop of the Coal Washery during ExtraSchicht 2018UNESCO World Heritage Zollverein

Enjoying the view

I’m a geographer by training, so I always look for the highest point first to get a good view of the site. The roof of the Coal Washery with its viewing platform is ideal for this. Here we experience the Twin Pithead Frame practically at eye level, we can view the impressive architecture of Shaft XII from above and see the entire Coking Plant in the distance. At this spot, foreign visitors are always surprised at how green Zollverein is.

Prof. Dr Hans-Peter Noll and Christian Kleinhans in the premises of the Zollverein Digital CampusUNESCO World Heritage Zollverein

Ideas for the future

Right next to the Twin Pithead Frame, the Zollverein Digital Campus has moved into Hall 2. I like to show these rooms, because this is where we are looking into the future of the World Heritage Site. We preserve the Zollverein monument and bring the past back to live. At the same time, the location is changing and again becoming a driving force for the Ruhr Metropolis. The Digital Campus is an impulse generator for companies and institutions,  and it promotes cooperation and forward-looking initiatives.

Margaretenhöhe Ceramic WorkshopUNESCO World Heritage Zollverein

Ceramics in the old carpentry workshop

When we cross the road behind Shaft 1/2/8, we discover one of Zollverein’s gems, the Margaretenhöhe Ceramic Workshop. ...

Keramische Werkstatt Margaretenhöhe Keramische Werkstatt Margaretenhöhe by Young-Jae LeeUNESCO World Heritage Zollverein

... Here, the renowned artist Young-Jae Lee works in the coal mine’s former carpentry workshop. From her kiln, she takes out ceramics, which are exhibited in museums all over the world. And when the Japanese cherry trees are in blossom, this garden looks like an enchanted place.

Children in the Interactive CollieryUNESCO World Heritage Zollverein

Little miners

We walk back to Shaft 1/2/8, past the Hotel Friends to the former mine car circuit. Here, our department responsible for communicating the site to the public has set up an Interactive Colliery, where children become little miners and have to lend a hand. 

View of the Boiler HouseUNESCO World Heritage Zollverein

Spectacular architecture

Zollverein is an icon of modern industrial construction due to the pioneering architecture of Fritz Schupp and Martin Kremmer. ...

Zollverein is an icon of modern industrial construction due to the pioneering architecture of Fritz Schupp and Martin Kremmer. ...

Escalator at the Coal Washery and Twin Pithead FrameUNESCO World Heritage Zollverein

... But it is not only the neo-objective modernism influenced by the Bauhaus, which is represented here. From the crew’s bridge alone, we can see three buildings built or redesigned by Pritzker Prize winners: the SANAA building, the Red Dot Design Museum in the old Boiler House and the Ruhr Museum in the Coal Washery. ...

Exhibition „contemporary art ruhr (C.A.R.) 2021“ in Hall 8, Zollverein UNESCO World Heritage SiteUNESCO World Heritage Zollverein

A new place for the arts

Seen from the outside, Hall 8 is not particularly spectacular. Inside the building, however, the old high-pressure compressor hall has been converted into an art and exhibition venue. What is special about this is that the completion of Hall 8 marks the end of the development of Shaft XII, with new uses having been found for all the large halls.

SANAA buildingUNESCO World Heritage Zollverein

... Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa, Norman Foster and Rem Koolhaas have left their mark at Zollverein. You won‘t find that anywhere else!

Slagheap in front of the Coking PlantUNESCO World Heritage Zollverein

Idyll and nature

The Coal Washery is so huge, that people almost overlook the slagheap behind it. You should, however, definitely take a walk there. ...

SculpturesUNESCO World Heritage Zollverein

... You will not only discover Ulrich Rückriem’s sculptures, some of which are hidden in the sculpture park, but you will also find idyllic spots, where you can’t believe that you are standing in the middle of a former industrial site.

Comb BuildingUNESCO World Heritage Zollverein

Creative people on the Coking Plant premises

Pump houses, workshops, water treatment, and everything connected by a corridor — from above, this ensemble of buildings looks like a comb, and that is why it is called Comb Building. ...

Shop im KammgebäudeUNESCO World Heritage Zollverein

... What we discover here today: creative people in studios, offices and showrooms. For them, the former industrial site of Zollverein is a place of inspiration, and this is a fantastic development.

Eastern and western cooling towersUNESCO World Heritage Zollverein

Room for new things

As you can see, you can’t see anything: only the scaffolding has remained of the two large cooling towers at the Coking Plant. I see room for something new here ...

Cooling towerUNESCO World Heritage Zollverein

... There are still some gap sites on the Coking Plant grounds, which we can develop in coordination with the monument protection authorities. These places are therefore particularly exciting and challenging for me.

Zollverein Coking PlantUNESCO World Heritage Zollverein

Looking behind the scenes

The six chimneys, which are up to 100 metres high, the pusher machine track, which becomes an ice rink in winter, the illuminated coke oven battery – miraculously beautiful. ...

Quenching track hallUNESCO World Heritage Zollverein

... But when going to the back, into the quenching track hall, we see a harsh industrial architecture, which makes us look decades into the past. ...

... That is not idyllic, that’s rough, but incredibly fascinating. 

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
Explore more
Google apps