Evaluation of Industrial-Cultural Heritage: The Case of Zollverein Mine Complex in Germany

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Sekerci Y., AKINER İ.

PLANLAMA-PLANNING, vol.31, no.2, pp.151-163, 2021 (ESCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Review
  • Volume: 31 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.14744/planlama.2021.03274
  • Journal Indexes: Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI), TR DİZİN (ULAKBİM)
  • Page Numbers: pp.151-163
  • Keywords: Industrial heritage, cultural heritage, Zollverein Mine Complex
  • Akdeniz University Affiliated: Yes


Industrialization, which started in Britain in the 18th century, spread rapidly to many parts of the world, especially Europe. With the mass production, the transition from human power to machine power has begun and industrial structures, which are the new type of space with large spans in which machines produce, have begun to be built. These structures, which have been operating for years, are abandoned and remain idle due to the inadequacy of the natural resource in the areas and the insufficient sizes of the structures. From this point on, the fate of these structures is drawn depending on the approach and sensitivity of the country where the factories are located. Preserving these structures, which are evidence of the period in which they operated, ensures that the period when the factory was founded and worked remains still in the collective memory. In recent years, when architectural conservation was limited to only a few types of structures, industrial heritage also became an important area of protection. Some countries gave attention to the industrial heritage conservation are examples for others. One of the prominent countries in this regard is Germany. The Zollverein Mine Complex is located in Germany's Ruhr Area and remained idle after its closure in 1986. Many years of renovation works have been carried out in order to preserve the complex, which witnessed the industrial structure of a period, with the least possible intervention and to reintegrate it into the society. This complex, which was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2001, sets an good example for the whole world in terms of evaluating the industrial heritage, not only with its protected structures, but also with the new and contemporary structures added to the complex. The Mining Complex, which reflects the cultural and industrial history of the city, is handled as a case study within the scope of industrial heritage. Within the scope of the research, industrial facilities, which are the important components of the Industrial and Cultural Heritage and play active roles in the physical development of the city, were examined. Conservation and reuse proposals for transferring the existing industrial heritage to future generations are discussed and studied on the Zollverein project example.