Authenticity and heritage
Old buildings gladly and generously host creativity and innovation. The Schalthaus is one of these fascinating buildings, with strong history and DNA. The authenticity of place and the flexibility of use attracts the creative class, it allows many activities. Not something that we can plan with great precision, but it is a sure thing that we can direct the new activities towards the generosity of the old buildings and help them to become real, vital and a catalyst for other activities. We know how to enhance the economic and financial value created through these activities deriving from new ideas in old buildings. We develop new ways of financing, as these should be better synchronized with the activities they aim to enable. The writing is on the wall. No city should ignore the revitalization of the old buildings, the strength of its community. The economy on a long term depends on it. We are convinced we will make it work.
The Schalthaus was the power plant for the transformation of gas into electricity. It is the main building of the Phoenix West site. The main two nave hall dates back to 1897, and later, the building has been extended and changed several times. The Schalthaus is connected to the old steel factory by a 26-meter-high steel bridge, under which the former gas supply pipeline was anchored. The pipeline is partly still visible today. The bridge is open to public tours and brings to a 100 meter panoramic viewpoint on the industrial heritage of Phoenix West and the beautiful skyline of Dortmund.
The neutral structure of the empty Schalthaus building will gain new meaning and purpose by filling the structure with a coherent complex of boxes with a mosaic of new functions. This functional accommodation will generate an important part of the new EcoGrowth Centre Dortmund and will contribute significantly to the economic and social community development of Phoenix West.
The manifestation of creativity and innovation is not coincidental at all, but part of our urban tool box. We work in value creation, innovation, invention, expansion, community strength, diversity, resilience and more. We understand and deploy creative operations, prepare and sustain incubators, find the means, conduct the process.
The collaborative relationships required for transformational interventions in the future of cities must be actively constructed by diverse actors and supported by intermediary vehicles. ‘Living laboratories’ develop and test responses to the social, environmental and economic challenges present in contemporary urbanism. They function through ‘quadruple helix’ relations between varied actors from the public, private, university and community sectors.