Phoenix from the ashes – a lake for Dortmund

For 160 years, steel was manufactured in Dortmund-Hörde. The name Phoenix used to belong to the blast furnace on the Phoenix West premises, and the Hermannshütte oxygen steelworks on the Phoenix East premises. With the structural change of the region, this age came to an end – and in 2001 the factory premises became one of the many industrial wastelands in the former coal and steel district.

But now, like the bird of Greek mythology, the Phoenix has risen from the ashes as an innovation and leisure area for the City of Dortmund. The Phoenix Lake is a model example of the catalytic effects that can be generated by the conversion of the Emscher. The river was previously enclosed in the Hoesch sewer and routed underneath the former works premises. Now, and more precisely since 18 December 2009, the New Emscher has been running its course in a wide, idyllic riverbed along the northern boundary of the site. The EMSCHERGENOSSENSCHAFT has thus created a high-quality ecological watermeadow landscape with its own dynamics. A separate underground sewer was laid for the wastewater to the south of the Phoenix Lake. Between the two, at around 24 hectares in size, the largest leisure lake in the Dortmund area has been created, just 5 km away from the city centre. And not to forget, the Phoenix See also serves the Emscher as a flood retention basin, because it can hold an additional 240,000 cubic metres of water.

Foto: Markus Greulich / Emschergenossenschaft

The Phoenix Lake is an attractive location, not only for leisure activities, but also for living and working near the water. A harbour has been built close to Hörder Burg castle, whose shops, leisure facilities, restaurants and cafés form a focus for leisure activities on the southern shore of the lake. The northern and eastern shores of the lake, by contrast, have been given as natural an appearance as possible. On the PHOENIX West premises, and on behalf of the City of Dortmund, NRW.URBAN has built a multifunctional site for innovative companies in micro and nanotechnology, while on the PHOENIX Lake site (previously Phoenix East), the development and marketing of attractive residential facilities and areas for services companies around the lake is being performed by PHOENIX See Entwicklungsgesellschaft, a 100% subsidiary of the Dortmund municipal utilities company Dortmunder Stadtwerke (DSW 21). The operation and maintenance of the PHOENIX Lake local recreation facilities, consisting of the expanse of water and surrounding parklands, is the responsibility of the City of Dortmund, supported by the EMSCHERGENOSSENSCHAFT in matters of water volume and quality management.