Loddenheide Water Filtration Plant (2001)
40 Years of Water Research – 20 years of Water Pumping
The 2001 Loddenheide Water Filtration Plant is almost BOLLES+WILSON’s smallest building. It has for the last 20 years been cleaning and filtering road runoff before it lands in the re-absorption pond of the Loddenheide Business Park. The pond itself is a re-naturalizing success, now a bird sanctuary for countless water foul. The glazed vitrine of the pump house now stands serenely in winter snow or spring blossom (Ilus 1-3). Its machines turn two Archimedes Screw Pumps, aerating the water before splashing into a circular filtration tank. The rectangular plan geometry of the first is set against the circular form of the second (Ilus 4). A line of poplar trees, now fully grown, bisects these two fundamental geometries (Ilus 5). For those inexperienced at reading metaphoric content into infrastructural equipment the fences surrounding the two machines come with subtext – although the supergraphic H2O on the fence mesh is not readable when approached front on, only when seen in the oblique is it there to underline the theme of ‘Water’ (Ilus 6).
The Business Park was at the outset renamed Freedom Park by the Dalai Lama, then visiting Münster. The Dalai Lama Commemoration Stone stands 120 meters away from the pumping facilities – just follow the line of poplars. It is certainly BOLLES+WILSONS smallest work. To read its text one must walk three times around the dark green stone (Illus 8). We like to believe that the rainy day inauguration photo documents the Dalai Lama gleefully asking Münsters lady Mayor – ‘Is it really a BOLLES+WILSON design’ (Ilus 9).
BOLLES+WILSON water research began in 1976 with Peter Wilson’s Iconic Water House (Ilus 10). In 2018 the watery trajectory continued with the second warehouse for RS+Yellow both with ‘Infinity Pool’ roofs (Ilus 11+12).
photos © Christian Richters
photos and images © BOLLES+WILSON