UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Zollverein
The Zollverein mine, which was closed down in 1986, ranks as one of the most important industrial monuments of the 20th century. Therefore, it is not surprising that it – and thus the home to the Red Dot Design Museum – was adopted as part of the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage on 14 December 2001. Zollverein is one of only ten modern architectural projects in the world to be accorded this honour.
The world heritage committee praised Zollverein as “a representative example of the development of heavy industry in Europe”. The “architecture of the industrial complex, influenced by the Bauhaus style, which had been an example to modern industrial construction for decades” was noted to be of outstanding value. This can be discovered in an impressing way in the style of the complex’s energy centre, today’s Red Dot Design Museum. Former German Federal President Johannes Rau officially presented the UNESCO plaque to Zollverein in summer 2002.
The mine complex, built between 1928 and 1932 by the industrial architects Fritz Schupp and Martin Kremmer, was regarded at that time as the most modern in the world, both technically and architecturally. The architects, inspired by the Bauhaus style, arranged the cubic structures around a central courtyard bordered on one side by the pit-head mechanism. The second axis, at a right angle, leads to the Red Dot Design Museum - a masterpiece of form and function, a cathedral of industrial culture.