Skip to main content Skip to page footer

Cathedral of industrial architecture

The fascinating atmosphere of the Red Dot Design Museum Essen is exuded especially by the contrast of old and new, of industrial architecture and product culture. Built between 1928 and 1929 by the architects Fritz Schupp and Martin Kremmer, the former boiler house served as the power house of the Zollverein Coal Mine Industrial Complex for many years. Closed down in 1986, it is one of the most important industrial monuments of the 20th century and was declared a World Cultural Heritage by the UNESCO in 2001.

In the mid-1990s, British star architect Lord Norman Foster rebuilt the house for its new purpose as Red Dot Design Museum. The new interior architecture in glass and concrete merged with the old pipework, fittings and steel staircases and thus created a breathtaking, yet inspiring stage for contemporary product design.

The heart of the new domicile, which is often reverently called a “cathedral of industrial culture”, is the "Schürerstand" (stoker's position). Between steel steam boilers, the entrance to this imposing hall opens, featuring new areas for presenting outstanding designs on both sides. The cantilevered walkway guides visitors along steel girders, past metal pipework and burnt tiles, allowing for a view over 4,000 square metres of exhibition space.

» Discover Zollverein coal mine and the Red Dot Design Museum's Stoker's Station in a virtual 360° world heritage panorama

» Further information on Foster + Partner

» back