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Excursion 4: Smart Energy Systems – Housing and Environment

Guided tour of the Mont-Cenis Academy 

Mont-Cenis Academy is situated on the former premises of the coal mine Mont-Cenis in Herne, under an impressive 20.000 m2 micro-climate hull made of glass.

The energy needed for the micro-climate hull is produced from alternative and environmentally friendly energy sources. For one, a photovoltaic installation of more than 1 Megawatt on the hull’s roof, and on the other hand via a modern cogeneration unit using the amounting mine gas from the former pit. Energy provision is complemented by a modern battery storage installation. This makes Mont-Cenis a new benchmark for alternative energy use, combined with breathtaking architecture.

More Information: Akademie Mont-Cenis 

Guided tour of the Science Park Gelsenkirchen 

The Science Park Gelsenkirchen in situated on the premises of a former cast steel factory. In the Science Park, enterprises and research institutions predominantly from the fields of energy technology, information and communication technology and health care have established. The architecturally and technologically most outstanding building on the premises is the glass arcade, which is about 300 m in length. One of Germany’s largest photovoltaic installations is mounted on its roof.

More Information: Wissenschaftspark Gelsenkirchen 

Tour through the sculptural park on the foot of the mining tip with guided forestry tour

In the surroundings of the forestry station Rhine-Elbe located on the foot of the mining tip „Rhine-Elbe” and the sculptural forest, one can see, how old industrial areas have reforested naturally – totally unnatural sites could develop naturally here.

More Information: Wald und Holz, Landesbetrieb 

Individual ascent

On the former mining tip of the mine Rhine-Elbe in Gelsenkirchen, you can have an impressive 360 degree view across the Ruhr metropolis: the mining tip itself has been made accessible via spiralling paths. Visible from far away is the „stairway to heaven” on top – a 10 m high construction made of heavy concrete blocks.

More Information: Themenrouten Industriekultur 

Guided tour of the Küppersbusch Estates

On the former premises of the oven and kitchen furniture producing firm Küppersbusch in Gelsenkirchen, a new town quarter – the Küppersbusch estate – has developed with 267 living quarters on an area of about 7.5 ha. The urban planning concept is coined by the architectural and urban planning office Szyszkowitz-Kowalski.

A specialty in urban planning is the rain water concept: a green space in the centre of the estate serves as infiltration area and retention reservoir. The open space concept is remarkable as well: visible to all, a terraced green wall, that has taken up the rubble and the contaminations from the Küppersbusch firm, separates the quarter from the former freight depot.

More Information: 
Siedlung Küppersbusch  Architektur- und Städtebau-Büro Szyszkowitz-Kowalski 

Excursion 5: InnovationCity Ruhr – a contest by the „Initiative Ruhr”

„Blue skies, green city” – that is the „Initiative Ruhr”’s slogan for the tendered contest among Ruhr municipalities. Since June 2010, five municipalities (Bottrop, Bochum, Gelsenkirchen/Herten, Mülheim an der Ruhr and Essen) are competing for the title „InnovationCity Ruhr”.

The aim of the contest is to get a municipality to develop its city or quarter as InnovationCity Ruhr in a way, that energy efficiency in the sectors industry, housing, commerce, trade, service and transport is increased and CO2 emissions are decreased via the application of innovative products: according to the call, the Ruhr municipalities should apply with a „typical piece of the Ruhr area” characteristic for the structural change of the region for example concerning its demographic structure, building stock, and open spaces.

As a model city, the future InnovationCity Ruhr should illustrate trend-setting solutions that are transferable to other municipalities in coal districts. Existing housing shall be transformed into attractive low-energy housing quarters, communal facilities like swimming pools or pre-schools shall in the future be heated with inexpensive, environmentally friendly energy, and sector-relevant „green firms” shall be located there. The applied innovations should in their effects extend into all aspects of daily life.

InnovationCity Ruhr is a pilot project of the „Initiative Ruhr”. The „Initiative Ruhr” is a coalition of 60 leading firms in the Ruhr Metropolis. They together employ about 2.25 million people worldwide and generate a global turnover of about 630 billion Euro.  

Excursion 6: Highlight in the Cultural Capital „Essen” – Between Tradition and Modernity

Individual tour around the villa and the Krupp exhibition

Since 1873, „Villa Hügel” was home of the entrepreneurial family Krupp. It is open for the public since 1952 and in am adjacent building offers an exhibition on the chequered chronicles of the „princely family of the industrial era”. With 269 rooms on a total of 8.100 m2 it still is said to be the largest single-family home in Germany.

More Information: Villa Hügel 

Guided tour of the estate „Margarethenhöhe” and visit of a model apartment

When Georg Metzendorf developed the garden city „Margarethenhöhe” in 1908, he followed the model of old towns from southern Germany. It is now by many called the most beautiful town in the Ruhr area. The estate for workers’ families from the Krupp enterprise still convinces by its thoughtful infrastructure and its concept of high-quality simplicity.

More Information: Margarethenhöhe

Guided tour of the construction site

The „Krupp belt” is partly located on the former premises of ThyssenKrupp and extends over 230 ha. This makes it about three times as large as the city centre of Essen. Next to a newly created park with an artificial lake, ThyssenKrupp’s new corporation centre is also being built here. Optimal access is being granted by the city of Essen via the Berthold-Beitz-Boulevard.

More Information: Krupp-Gürtel 

Guided tour of the construction site „University Quarter”

On foot towards the city centre you reach the new living quarters „University Quarter” still under construction, directly adjacent to the university of Duisburg/Essen (Campus Essen). It is supposed to give the former railway area a new identity. Its landscape-architectural design wants to define a modern and unique language of design, that will contribute to a high quality of life for the inhabitants to come.

Individual visit of the Folkwang Museum
(guided tour or audio-visual explanations optional)

There is still time to visit the „most beautiful museum in the world” – the Folkwang Museum in Essen. But not only the exhibition itself is worth a visit. Also the building re-opened only recently in 2010 is worth seeing. The impressive new building by David Chipperfield Architects complements the old, heritage-protected building of Museum Folkwang in a remarkable way, because it preserves its autonomy and at the same time extends its architectural principle with an ensemble of six buildings and four inner yards, gardens and lobbies.

Exhibition in October: Pictures of a Metropolis: this fall, Folkwang dedicates a large exhibition to the first metropolis of modernity: Paris during the time of impressionism.

More Information: Folkwang Museum  Ausstellung