Zollverein Masterplan

In 1988 the coal refinery (the 'white side') of the Zeche Zollverein was closed, five years after the mines (the 'black side') had been shut down. The once famous Ruhrgebiet lost the driving force behind its identity and its raison d'etre overnight. For about 10 years the authorities did not know what to do with the site, but were wise enough to buy it from the former owners and declared it part of the industrial heritage of Germany.