Plange Mühle Campus, Düsseldorf
ingenhoven architects transformed listed grain silo of the Plange Mühle Campus Dusseldorf into modern loft workspaces
ingenhoven architects complete the conversion and restoration of a listed former grain silo on the Plange Mühle Campus in Dusseldorf. The 1906 grain silo is transformed into a six story loft building, creating new work spaces for the commercial operations of Fashion and Media Industries. The renovation of the neighbouring silo constructed in concrete is planned for completion in 2019.
The grain silo is of timber construction and through re-use much of the original built fabric has been preserved. The resulting architecture reflects both in its external and internal appearance the character of the industrial culture, with clear references to classical modernism, creating an exciting combination between old and new. Through the removal of the original silos and the insertion of floor slabs the building achieves significantly more floor space. The restoration and re-use of the listed Plange Mühle Campus is of particular importance in terms of sustainable urban development and architecture: thanks to a new use, comprising of flexible workspaces and gastronomy, the identity of the Campus as a creative place is strengthened, with social links to the Media Harbour being maintained.
In external appearance, the timber silo is characterised by the alternation of brick and render.
Above the buildings brick base, the location of the former silos are recognisable through the use of almost building height arched windows. The retention and renovation of the original façade including lattice windows, existing walls, bridges, arches and the tower, were a core focus of the project. This was achieved through working together with the Department for listed buildings. The interior of the old brick building comprising the silos was constructed in timber, this can be noted in the exterior structure, through the round plate anchors. The interior of the Silo together with the roof and the rendered elements were sensitively removed in the re-use of the structure. The flaws in the façade, including schrapnel from the second world make the building readable in the context of time.
The buildings were renewed after the Second World War, to be constructed from brick, being simple in form. The silo building also featured a crane for ships which was restored in its original location in 1949.
At the beginning of the twentieth century, the best known german household flour in the region
‘Diamant-Mehl’ was produced at Plange Mühle in the Dusseldorf Harbour. Ten years after the founding of the company ‘Georg Plange’ in Hamburg, the second steam mill was opened in Dusseldorf in the year 1906. The Dusseldorf branch was created for 120 employees and produced only flour. The building complex was formed of 5 structures; a main bulding featuring a tower adorned with an Adler, two grain silos, workshops and the residence of the head miller. The buildings were later severly altered, due to the Second World War and subsequent rebuilding and further conversions due to the changes in the production industry.
Nevertheless, some of the buildings, such as the timber and concrete silos, the tower, the workshops and the former stable building, in addition to the head miller’s residence comprise of original building fabric. Today the complete site with its buildings are protected through their listed status.
The so-called ‘timber silo’, owes its name to the wooden storage chambers formerly inside the brick building, and was constructed in 1906. In 1929 the cylindrical concrete silos followed, being simplistic and refined in form. In the nineties, the site ceased to operate as a flour mill, and the industrial wasteland was included in the plans to regenerate the Dusseldorf Media Harbor.