Iconic industrial heritage buildings are generally located on the outskirts of urban areas. But the Dortmunder U-Tower is just a short walk away from the city center. The fermentation and storage building was built in 1926/27 by the brewery Dortmunder Union directly outside the medieval city wall. As prominent as a bolt of lightning, it soared into the sky above Dortmund which had formerly been populated by church spires. After it had undergone extensive rebuilding, the building was reopened in 2010 as a center for art and creativity. With its eye-catching roof, it has become a new architectural landmark and has expanded the city’s skyline beyond the historical town center marked by the delimiting ring road.
In his photos of the U-Tower, Lukas Höhler unites transit areas with architectural impressions, presents panoramic views of the city as seen from the building, and captures the ways in which the Dortmunder U is reflected – literally – in the surrounding cityscape. How much space does the tower take up? What does it occlude? Lukas Höhler has managed to decidedly subvert our visual expectations about an iconic landmark, a cultural and/or industrial monument. Instead his photographs evocatively convey the atmosphere of the building right in the heart of the city.