North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany’s largest urban area, includes well known cities like Düsseldorf, Cologne and Essen and is full of architectural secrets. From huge former coal plants to small and delightful staircases. From Doms (Cathedrals) to synagogues. From contemporary to medieval architecture. Its rich built environment is the consequence of having multiple cultures, traditions and politics coexisting together throughout time. Historically, this area has always been wealthy – the largest economy among the German states – and that has had an impact in what was built. Nowadays, one can enjoy a wide range of buildings within its many cities and that’s what I’ve tried to capture in this guide.
Special thanks to Germany Tourismus and my friend Philipp Heer who organised a short trip to this delightful area of Germany, where I could discover – for the first time – the Ruhr’s area many charms and architectural gems. Anything interesting in terms of architecture is here. If you find any mistakes, or have any suggestions please let me know in the comments. My intention is to keep it useful. Hope you enjoy!
Download pdf here: North Rhine-Westphalia Architecture Guide 2021 (PDF)
Download map here: North Rhine-Westphalia Architecture Guide 2021
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Fantastic memories for us – we had a great time discovering the amazing architecture of this area!
I studied at one of the big universities there in Bochum and got to like this area. Bochum had the most famous theatre in Germany once, has anthroposophic architecture (Bernhard H.H. Scharoun f.e.) and the famous Bergbau Museum (mining museum). Nowadays the Ruhr District is a cultural hotspot with Zeche Zollverein (Unesco World Heritage) f.e. Well, you got a lot of interesting places on your map.
The Fab Four of Cley
🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂
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Virginia, Thank you so much for this. I’ve spent a little time in Koln Bonn but have not been able to explore too many modern buildings. This will guide me on my next trip.
One addition I might suggest is the sculpture garden in Wuppertal which features work to Tony Cregg, a leading British sculptor who lives and produces onsite. In addition to the sculptures are a few buildings, including a glass structure, which was featured in Wim Wenders’s documentary about choreographer, Pina Bausch. And any visit to Wuppertal should include a ride on the unique elevated monorail train.
Also, I might recommend visit to K21 museum in Düsseldorf to see Tomas Saraceno’s In Orbit permanent spiderweb in the atruium.
Hi Virginia. I hope all is well. I have been following you since you started your first architectural guide and we’re asking our opinion on designs etc. I will be in London in October and would like to download your free architectural guide but can’t find it on your website. Can you help?
Carmen Medina Sent from my iPhone
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Hi Carmen! This is exciting 🙂 Any special occasion for your trip to London?
Unfortunately, the guide was used as the base of the book (https://architectourguide.com/products/london-guide) so it’s no longer usable. How long will you be coming? Are you after any specific buildings?
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