Overhauling a production plant and forge for a steel factory in north Germany was a dream project for us. We have a life-long interest in craft, a well-informed appreciation of industrial heritage, and deep roots in the area. This project struck a chord on so many levels.
An impressively large forging hammer gave the original building its name – Hammerhalle – but that building was now dilapidated and no longer fit for purpose. Neue (or New) Hammerhalle was reimagined for this century, and there was plenty to be inspired by: the original materials, the industrial traditions of north Germany, the robustness of the forging hammer, the flames at the heart of the steelmaking process.
The overhauled building, with its semi-translucent glass enclosure on a redbrick base, now combines solidity and lightness. The glass walls gently reveal the building’s main structural frame and hint at the glowing theatre of heavy industrial steel production within. It speaks of the past but also of the present.
Neue Hammerhalle was shortlisted – along with Stahlwerk Anbau and Stahlwerk Aufstockung – for the 2018 AJ Retrofit Awards. And our photographer David Vintiner was so inspired by the project that he went on to do his own photographic reportage, which you can see here. He, too, values tradition, craft and innovation. And, like us, he sees beauty in industry.
Photography by David Vintiner.