Schicht im Schacht

Johannes Schmitt
Professorship
Landscape Architecture and Industrial Landscape
research paper

This Master’s thesis develops a strategy for the transformation of Saarland coal mining brownfields using the example of the Luisenthal coal mine.
In the year 2012 mining activity in the Saarland comes to an end. The coal mines are still being renovated today and must be reintegrated into the adjacent settlements and open space structures. The central challenges are to make the coal mines accessible from their surroundings, to transfer them to a versatile reuse and to take into account historical relationships as well as the individual relationships with the local residents. This study shows that following the theory of Structuralism and working with layers of information, both in regional spaces and at the local level, is a helpful analysis and design tool to meet the challenges mentioned above.

The original mining expression “Schicht im Schacht” (en: “layer/shift in the shaft”) indicates that the mines are viewed in several layers. Thus, the title also stands for the approach on several layers of information. Five such layers were designed for Luisenthal: The existing linear development network with lines of sight, linking elements as meeting points and transition areas, the industrial remains and the water system as historical relics of the mine, and the vegetation system for better orientation and legibility. An important aspect for each layer is the manifold interpretation and appropriation of its structures by developing polyvalent spaces. The construction of a primary school is proposed as a new development. Existing buildings will be reused as cafeteria, workshop, sports hall and club rooms. The school complements the local supply of Luisenthal and is a meaningful new development, drawing many generations together to enliven the site. The gardens in front of the school with their geometric hedge borders are designed by the users. Furthermore, horticultural activities could be carried out through joint cooperation on site. In addition to the creation of a variety of gardens, terraces, lawns and other places, the existing fauna with wall lizards and dragonflies will be preserved.

Perspektive am Südtor
2020 © Johannes Schmitt
Analyse mit Informationsschichten der Region und des Ortes
2020 © Johannes Schmitt
Lageplan des zukünftigen Grubengeländes Luisenthal
2020 © Johannes Schmitt
Geländeschnitte durch Grube und Umgebung
2020 © Johannes Schmitt
Perspektiven und Detailpläne des Süd- und Osteingangs
2020 © Johannes Schmitt
Nutzung und Interpretation der Grube
2020 © Johannes Schmitt