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Collaborative workshop process to develop a positive vision to repurpose a former coal mine

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Plan for Site of Coal Mine

RAG Montan Immobilien

Bergwerk Friedrich-Heinrich

Kamp-Lintfort, Ruhrgebiet, Germany

50ha site of former coal mine

Assignment complete 2018

In the Ruhrgebiet, more than half a million jobs have been lost over one generation and entire industries have now come to an end. With the German government's commitment to the "Energiewende", a sustainable energy policy, the decommissioning of nuclear power and coal mining presents challenges for local communities.


Through co-creative workshops with the local mining community, we collaborated on a vision for a model quarter on the site of the coal mine that highlights the skills, crafts, and resources already present in the Ruhrgebiet. A town that has lost the industry that was once at the core of its identity is regenerated, bottom-up and top-down.

Exploring themes of circularity and identity our framework plan introduces once again this central site in the mining town as a center for community building and local identity. Fences are removed in a phased process that provides new access for people to experience historic industrial structures in a new way. New open and covered public spaces are designed to attract people through an extensive programme of fleeting public events and activities as well as investments into permanent community services in this location.

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For the final project presentation to the client and assembled representatives of the mining community we served cocktails to a mixture designed for our project in collaboration with Copenhagen cocktail bar Gilt. Served on the roof of the UNESCO World Heritage Site Zollverein, the celebration marked a window in time to the hard industrial past and the optimistic and blossoming future for this community.

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