Arch. Myriam B. Mahiques Curriculum Vitae

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Ruhr District Metamorphosis

Light art at the Bochum obervatory / Design: Yves Netzhammer. From
The Ruhr, also, and more accurately, called  Ruhr district or Ruhr region (German Ruhrgebiet, colloquial Ruhrpott, Kohlenpott, Pott or Revier), is an urban area in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. With 4435 km² and a population of some 7.3 million (2008), it is the largest urban agglomeration in Germany. It consists of several large, formerly industrial cities bordered by the rivers Ruhr to the south, Rhine to the west, andLippe to the north. In the Southwest it borders on the Bergisches Land. It is considered part of the larger Rhine-Ruhr metropolitan region of more than 12 million people.
Today, the Ruhr district is an excellent example for a city´s metamorphosis. Neal Peirce, blog writer for the Washington Post comments:
¨Once the Ruhr was a crucible of massive coal and steel production — Germany’s weapons forge for the tanks and cannons, planes and rifles of Hitler’s demonic Third Reich. From the mid-1800s onward the Ruhr ravaged its natural landscape for ever-greater levels of production. Firms like Krupp made fortunes. But the mining and metal making left a bitter harvest of massive smoke from blast furnaces, deep dust, slag heaps and filthy waters.
Yet today this same Ruhr area is breathing fresh with high culture and popular art. Amazingly, it won coveted recognition by the European Parliament and Council of Ministers as a “European Capital of Culture” for 2010.
Indeed, where blast furnaces did their polluting work and molten iron once flowed, a stunning array of artists of all genres have been performing this year. Many of their stages have been the massive settings of the very mining and steel plants of yesteryear, a juxtaposition of today’s human talent with yesterday’s towering gaunt forms of raw industrial power.
The “convincing motif” that won the Europe-wide recognition was “change through culture, and culture through change,”
C.A.R. 2009, SANAA-Building, Projection: André Werner / Photo: Matthias Duschner/Stiftung Zollverein. From
So curious about this cultural transformation, I found a great web page with all the activities scheduled since the beginning of October till next year:


  1. Muy interesante Myriam, como siempre si no fuera por tu trabajo no me enteraría de estas cosas. Gracias!



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