While most disused industrial sites are either seen as a dangerous eyesore and torn down, or fenced off and hidden away, calling to intrepid urban explorers, the former steel works now known as the Landschaftspark Duisburg-Nord in Duisburg, Germany, was turned into a public park that celebrates the site’s brutal beauty and productive heritage.
The coal works on the site were first established in 1901 to take advantage of the fields of ore on the site. A blast furnace was built and from there a slow series of other coal and eventually iron and steel facilities were added down the decades until the site was a fully functioning plant complex. As demand for steel dipped in the later 20th century, the factory was eventually abandoned in the mid-80s leaving behind an ominous industrial hulk and immense amounts of pollution.
However instead of blasting the land clean of the forsaken metal works, it was decided that the facilities would be refurbished and turned into a public park where the memory of the plant’s good work could live on and be appreciated by future generations - once the pollution was cleaned up that is. After extensive purging of the toxins that had poisoned the site and general refurbishment of the works, the Landschaftspark Duisburg-Nord was born.
Many of the facilities were repurposed into such grand spaces such as a massive concert hall and even Europe’s largest indoor dive site. However what is likely most stunning to the casual visitor is the neon light show that appears after dark painting the otherwise hard-edged, grim site into a sort of sci-fi dystopia.