From the Abspannwerk Buchhändlerhof to the legendary "E-Werk"
The Abspannwerk Buchhändlerhof (Substation Buchhändlerhof) is an outstanding example of industrial architecture from the 1920s. However, the name is probably best known from the building's interim use in the 1990s, when it gained international recognition and became one of the most famous techno clubs in Europe as the E-Werk. It has been used as a venue since 2005.
The oldest surviving architectural example of Germany's electricity industry
An initial building for the "Städtischen Electricitäts-Werke" (urban power stations) was built on the site of the surviving substation on Mauerstraße in 1885 in order to supply the neighbouring areas with electricity. The northern part of this central station is still standing on its premises. Dating back to 1885, it is the oldest surviving architectural example of Germany's electricity industry.
The surviving Buchhändlerhof substation was built between 1926 and 1928 on the basis of plans by architect Hans Heinrich Müller. Müller had to design the substation under very difficult conditions, whereby the existing development of housing blocks forced him to find a space-saving solution. The substations were thus stacked neatly on top of one another over nine storeys and grouped around three areaways. The building was badly damaged in the Second World War, so now the only surviving element is the quadrant-shaped control room at its centre, which has become a characteristic trademark of the facility.
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