World of Walas and the German city of Dortmund are joining forces.
Today, Friday 24 August 2018, they announce their collaboration. Walas and Dortmund will engage in the development of Phoenix West. Part of this project are the revitalisation and redevelopment of the former blast furnace of ThyssenKrupp Stahl AG and the historic building called Schalthaus. “World of Walas is proud to announce the redevelopment of the historic Phoenix West area”, so says Gerben van Straaten, CEO of World of Walas. “The Phoenix West project in the historic town of Dortmund is an urban development in the broadest sense of the word”.
At the spot where around 160 year ago the first blast furnace was built, a new vibrant community rises where people live, work and recreate. A place with local enterprises and restaurants. Innovative ideas on technology, services, knowledge, logistics, economy and entrepreneurship will play an important roll. “For Walas, urban development is more then the design of real estate”, Gerben explains. “Urban development brings together activities, wishes and the interest of talented entrepreneurs, craftsmen, scientists, artists AND the city and unites them into a lively and liveable unity that is economical, social, sustainable, ecological and financial.” According to Oberbürgermeister Ullrich Sierau of the city of Dortmund the plans of Walas show that the industrial culture of the Ruhr area and the economic dynamics do not have to contradict each other. “On the contrary, the plans redesign the industrial monument completely,” says Sierau.
New Centre of Excellence for innovation and sustainability
The work on the Phoenix West project start with the building of a new centre of excellence for innovation and technology. The location is in the middle of the old blast furnace. A distinctive feature of the building are the blue solar panels. This feature is why people started calling the design the Blue Wave. The next step in 2019 is the revitalisation of the Schalthaus. The project is completed with the development of a new building called “4th Wave” which is running through the heart of the old blast furnace construction. “The authentic elements accentuate the essence of the city”, says Gerben. “With multiple land use we went to create new diversity around the industrial monument Phoenix West, respecting the history and the DNA of this interesting community. This is the first step into the direction of the fourth industrial revolution.” For Walas this development is not limited to a mere regional development. “The goal is a Centre of Excellence for innovation and sustainability with an international reputation”.
Major advantages Phoenix West, Dortmund
Thomas Westphal, Managing Director of Economic Development Dortmund, who guided the process with his team over the last 12 months, sees major advantages for businesses. He calls the investments of Walas in Dortmund “An important step for the whole of Europe. At the same time, it is a good signal for the region: an industrial monument is being reused and made productive again AND at the same time new jobs are being created.”