Pioneering works, modern buildings, future? Architecture that was considered sensational and innovative in the Ruhr area in the 1950s and 1970s brought about rather different reactions in the decades to follow: “What’s that big bulky building supposed to be?” Large, square, and perfectly obtrusive, they certainly aren’t loved by everyone, and yet it has become impossible to imagine the area without them.
In 2018, the European year of cultural heritage, the “Big Beautiful Buildings” project focuses on all the churches, residential settlements, cultural sites and city buildings that protrude from the Ruhr area’s landscape in their solid build, making it possible to experience the boom years’ architecture from a new perspective as a shared heritage. After all, great buildings like these are built to last. They are still there. Following my own visit there, I am about to show you my favourites among the Big Beautiful Buildings and tell you what you can do there. Think big!
Photos & Text: Sarah Bauer (frei getextet)