Today the Port of Dortmund has not only a historic but also a cultural dimension, both of which strengthen the city’s identity. Above all, if the city’s architectural heritage is managed to its advantage, Dortmund may be able to gain trans-regional significance. In order to do justice to the characteristic typologies and to meet the needs of the current urban planning situation, the as yet undeveloped area of the Turbinenhalle will be integrated in the city’s overall urban planning. The design and execution of this hall are determined by the need to implement the architectural and aesthetic understanding of the present as well as to handle the historical assets of the city with proper care.
The hall serves as studio and workshop for artists and craftspeople as a space for artistic exploration and development. In particular, the materials such as fairfaced concrete, stone, steel, and glass are used as a metaphor for the common grammar of the historic and contemporary architectural language. In line with the hall’s combined function of residence, workspace, and public facility in one, the join along the hall’s two-part floor plan represents the threshold between the private and the public sphere and as such is also regarded as the vertical development of the building. The individual newly planned floors with their specific functions providing for everyday needs are visually divided in this hall designed to be used as both an exhibition space and a common room.
The hall’s transparency fits within the context of its interior layout, dematerializes the architecture at the juncture between inside and outside, creates interesting views from the outside in and views through the different interior spaces, and truly excels at showing the link between a man-made interior space and a universe created by nature itself, exemplified by a starlit firmament, free of any emissions from local smokestacks.