Coal Washing & Landscape Park Zollverein (together with LKL AG)

Conversion of a UNESCO World Heritage Site to the Ruhr Museum with a landscape park

Place: Essen

Category: Arts & Culture, Squares & Outdoor Lighting

Reference note: The light planning for the coal washery was initially carried out until 08/2006 as an employee for LichtKunstLicht (LKL) AG and the subsequent planning and construction management services for the landscape park as KOBER light planner for LKL AG. LKL AG and the project team received the "Award of Merit" as part of the IESNA International Illumination Design Award.

Nicole Kober: "There are projects that are particularly close to your heart as a 'child of the Ruhr area'. This also applies to the Zollverein area with the coal washery and the landscape park, which I worked on during my time at LKL AG and then as a freelancer for several years. "

The museum building, the former coal washery, is 60 meters long, 30 meters wide and 40 meters high and is the largest building in the Zollverein colliery. In operation, it was a large machine that served to sort, classify, temporarily store and distribute the hard coal. The structural design is completely subordinate to these functions. The conversion of the building by the architects Rem Koolhaas and Heinrich Böll takes monument protection into account. You have accessed the building from top to bottom, analogous to the original production flow. The public is first transported to the 24m level with an escalator and enters the coal washery in the international visitor center Zollverein, where they are received with all service functions such as information and ticket counters, cloakroom, café and shop. The intensive orange of the lighting concept for the escalator stands as a metaphor for glowing coal or liquid, hot steel. The meandering access staircase inside the building takes up the same analogy as a light sculpture. In the actual exhibition areas, the original machine architecture is illuminated in a cool, diffuse manner and the actual exhibits are brilliantly warm-toned. The entire lighting system was installed on raw cable routes based on the industrial character - also to ensure maximum flexibility. In the penthouse-like event room on the roof of the coal washery, a lighting concept with highly shielded downlights was chosen in order to avoid light reflections on the panoramic panes and thus give the astonished guests the maximum view of the Ruhr area at night.

After the closure of the Zollverein colliery and coking plant, a wild nature that is second to none has emerged on the open spaces of the industrial wasteland. Botanical rarities and animals can now be discovered where waste rock used to be stored as a waste product from coal mining: the Zollverein Landscape Park.

Contractor light: LKL AG
Photos Copyright: ERCO I www.erco.com
Photographer Thomas Mayer I www. thomasmayerarchive.de
Architecture: OMA I http://oma.eu
Architecture: Böll Architekten I http://architekt-boell.de