Dortmund U-Tower

The Dortmunder U, also called U-Tower, is a 1927 as " fermentation and storage cellar " of the Dortmunder Union brewery built high-rise building on the western edge of downtown Dortmund. The name is derived from the 1968 applied to the main tower and completely restored in 2008 logo of the brewery: A four-page, nine -meter tall, golden -lit and "U".

After the relocation of the brewery site in 1994 remained on the operating buildings, only the Grade II Listed, best-known work of the Dortmund engineer and architect Emil Moog stand. The city of Dortmund in 2007 acquired the formerly vacant buildings and left it as a flagship project under the European Capital of Culture - RUHR.2010 converted into a " center for arts and creativity ". It houses among others the East Wall Museum and the Hartware Media Kunstverein.


As a brewery building

The seven- storey stone and 70 -meter-high commercial building is structurally a skyscraper. The seemingly opposite referred to its vertical orientation as a basement high house, cold storage and fermentation and storage cellar complex was built according to the plans of the brewery specializing in building Dortmund engineer and architect Emil Moog. After the start of construction in April 1926, the " Brewers Tower " could be taken in the following year in operation after only 14 months of construction. With the new production facility, here the beer was still fermented in open, tiled pool, the brewery was able to increase also in their cramped, city location close to their emissions. 1929, for the first time generated more than one million hectoliters of beer. The " Dortmunder Union brewery " has at times been the largest brewery in West Germany.

The multi-building was built as reinforced concrete and stands on 40 pillars. The architectural signature is visible on the pure functional building in the two-step, grid -like structure on the main tower. According to research by filmmaker Adolf Winkelmann, after conversion to the " Centre for Art and Creativity" in his "Flying Pictures" installed, have the architect can fit into the decorative props headlights, which had already lit the functionless structure as a "light sculpture". Since 1968 is four times, nine meters high, illuminated, golden " U " as the logo of the large brewery for the lighthouse and landmark character of the building.

The tower was part of a large building complex, which has been widely expanded and renewed in the course of its existence. After the relocation of the brewery to Dortmund - Luetgendortmund all the surrounding buildings were demolished. Brau & Brunnen erected on the site, adjacent to the high-rise building, its new headquarters. Following the acquisition of " Brau & Brunnen " by the Radeberger Group office building was no longer required and sold with the " Dortmunder U" and the surrounding wasteland for 25.5 million euros in February 2007 to the city of Dortmund.

Reconstruction and reopening as a creative center

In January 2008, a conversion of the building into a center for creative industries was decided. The Dortmunder U was used as the Dortmunder flagship project in the framework of the RUHR.2010 - added European Capital of Culture. On 26 February 2008, the NRW state government approved the renovation plans. The project should cost a total of 46 million euros, 50 % of EU funds, 20 % by the State of North Rhine-Westphalia and 30 % by the City of Dortmund which were denied.

The planning and realization of the conversion was carried out by the Dortmund architectural firm Gerber Architekten under the overall direction of Prof. Gerber.

The seven floors were broken in the front, so that an open "Art Vertical " inside the visitor reveals the dimensions of the building and access to the various levels is given. The cultivated bay, on the west side over three floors, on the fourth floor as so-called " VIP Lounge" and in the north as two-storey library, provide additional natural light. A panoramic terrace, catering and event and exhibition spaces make a variety of uses possible. A covered piazza is at the entrance area, as a connection to the configured Stadtquartier connect.

The first visible sign of the refurbishment, the building located on the landmark of the public was passed on 19 December 2008. To 16.07 clock the new with 554 grams of gold leaf finished Dortmunder U was illuminated by the then Lord Mayor of Dortmund Gerhard Lange Meyer and the architect Eckhard Gerber.

The building was opened as part of the European Capital of Culture Ruhr 2010 year in part on 28 May 2010. Since the renovation of the historic building problems in the roof and basement construction occurred, only about 40 percent of the complex were completed at this opening.

The exhibition of the installed in the U-Tower Museum Eastwall reopened since October 9, 2010, the top layer with 15 m high "cathedral " and the restaurant is open to the public since December 18, 2010.

At the foot of the building is located along the Rhenish road through the creative impulses that emanate from the users of the building, develop a new district. In the East, the place arises from Buffalo, named after a twin city of Dortmund.

Overview of the use of the building

Since 2010, three stations of the installation Flying Pictures of Adolf Winkelmann are shown in the Dortmund U. On the outside of the roof crown LED screens are installed, the show adapted to the respective day and hour of video art, this is the first station, called " U- tower picture clock ". More stations are in the foyer of the "Ruhr panoramas " and in the stairwell art Vertical "Nine windows in the vertical ."


  • Reserves of longing - Hardgoods Media Kunstverein, 1998
  • Encounters - The History and Future of the Dortmunder U (opening May 8, 2010 )
  • Agents & Provocateurs, Hardgoods Media Art Club, May 13 - July 18, 2010
  • Building Memory, Hardgoods Media Art Club, May 28 - August 15, 2010
  • Westend U, Technical University of Dortmund / cooperation with the museum on the East Wall, July 9, - September 19, 2010
  • Trust, Hardgoods Media Art Club 31 July - September 5, 2010

Specifications for the conversion

  • 798 tons of steel bars
  • 458 m² trapezoidal sheets
  • 412 steel profiles
  • 2,693 m³ of concrete
  • 480 km cable
  • Termination quantity: 72,000 m³


Roof construction of the Dortmund "U"

Emergence of a new urban quarter

View from the foyer to the Haren Berghaus

Animated Flying Pictures, 2010


In the fictional parallel world of the photographed superhero webcomics Union of Heroes of the Dortmund U-Tower is the headquarters of the heroes. This was destroyed seven years ago by the alliance of evil and expected at the beginning of the history of the Union of Heroes its reopening. The photos for the celebration of the union of the heroes return to their old stamping ground were produced as part of the actual opening of the U-Tower on December 18, 2010.