The building of the JULIA STOSCHEK COLLECTION is a converted four-storey factory originally built in 1907 for the company Die Bühne GmbH in Duesseldorf’s Oberkassel neighbourhood. Although the area around Belsenplatz has undergone many changes since then, it still evokes associations with the industrial site it once was – a railway freight yard for transporting coke and stage sets.

The advanced construction techniques used in the building, such as the use of reinforced concrete, combined with traditional elements like the towers flanking the main section of the building make it a shining example of early modern industrial architecture. The structure has served many uses over the course of 100 years, reflecting changing working and production conditions – a microcosm of 20th-century industrial history.

First commercial phase: from 1907

The building’s life so far can be divided into four main periods. Its first owner was the company Die Bühne GmbH, whose director Max David commissioned its construction on 2 March 1907. Until 1912 it was used as a manufacturing site for theatre equipment and props and housed a number of different workshops that all worked in close cooperation: a smithy, locksmith’s, saddlery, joinery and painting studio.
From 1911/1912 on, Die Bühne shared the premises with two other companies. Rheinische Aerowerke GmbH moved in as a subtenant and used the site to test its three-cylinder airship engines and to house its workshops, and the lighting manufacturer Neue Licht Gesellschaft entered the picture in 1912.

Second commercial phase: from 1913

After Die Bühne ceased operations on 7 November 1912, Spirella Gesellschaft took over the premises in 1913. The company remained there until 1936, using the factory for the manufacture of medical corsets and ladies’ undergarments. Gustav Görisch, a producer of armour, helmets, swords, shields, chain mail, weapons and jewellery for theatres and collectors, also set up shop in the building in 1913. During the First World War, parts of the site were leased to Metallindustrie GmbH, and from 1916 to a company that produced special equipment for the German military.

Third commercial phase: from 1936

In 1936 the building was acquired by Wilhelm Berg, a manufacturer of beds and mattresses. After World War II, F.G. Conzen took over the site and used it to produce frames and skirting boards; the company occupied the premises right up to 2002.

Fourth usage phase: since 2005

Collector Julia Stoschek acquired the building in 2005 and commissioned Berlin architecture firm Kuehn Malvezzi with converting it into an exhibition space. After standing empty for a number of years, the factory building had now been given a new lease of life as a cultural venue and private exhibition centre. The JULIA STOSCHEK COLLECTION celebrated its grand opening on 17 June 2007, in the building’s centenary year, with its first-ever exhibition, NUMBER ONE: DESTROY, SHE SAID.

Back to top