A city regains its landmark. Based on designs by Gerber Architekten, the former brewery tower is being renovated and turned into a creative arts centre. The architectural designs are based on the central concept of creating a holistic experience, incorporating the entire structure of the U-shaped tower, both inside and out.
This is achieved thanks to the "artistic perpendicular", a narrow open space which cuts through all storeys of the building. The existing floors and ceilings between the storeys were removed to achieve this. In future, moving stairways will run from the foyer on the ground floor up to the "cathedral space" directly below the illuminated "U".
The perpendicular line allows the different levels to be used separately. In the style of a covered urban "piazza", the ground-floor foyer next to the perpendicular line provides a link between the municipal square on the eastern side and the new district to the west. The new roof terrace has been built on the link between the brewery tower itself and the annex on a slightly lower level. From the "cathedral space", visitors can climb the terraced steps to get outside and enjoy a spectacular view over the city.
The Museum Ostwall occupies the fourth and fifth floors. The sixth floor can be partitioned off and is reserved for special and alternating exhibitions. To enable this, the annex has been fitted with a new "roof of light", which illuminates the exhibition areas with optimum, non-reflecting light. The top floor itself accommodates an events area, a café lounge and rooms for the "2010lab" - a RUHR.2010 initiative. The Dortmund University and the Dortmund College of Higher Education both occupy the first floor of the brewery tower while the third storey is dedicated to the Hartware MedienKunstVerein.
The Dortmund U not only symbolises architectural renewal, but also forms part of the creative industry project known as "Creative.Quarters". The "U" fills the role of powerhouse and catalyst at the interface between architecture, art, culture, education and the creative industry.
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