Gewächshäuser der Zukunft
THE ABANDONED GLASS HOUSES IN GERMANY
These ‘Gewächshäuser der Zukunft’ are a group of greenhouses in the Müschpark in Aachen. The site belonged to the close-by monastery St. Raphael. They were eventually abandoned in 2005.
These twenty-four geodesic domes, built of pentagonal and hexagonal elements, looks like they were the location for a sci-fi movie with houses from the future. But in fact they are just ordinary greenhouses, or Gewächshäuser in German.
In 1813 Wilhelm Körfgen turned the 13 hectares of land into a Ferme Ornée. A Ferme Ornée is an economically used property that is integrated into a landscaped garden. During the 1900s Joseph Clemens Weyhe further designed the Müschpark. However the characteristic elements of the Ferme Ornée can still be seen in the Müschpark today.
The greenhouses are part of this park. The grounds used to be part of the old St Raphael monastery, but were sold in 1985 to an institute that helped long-term unemployed people. The greenhouses, built in 1987 were part of the reintegration process. The facility was built by Franz Jülicher who was in fact inspired by the football of his children.
Eventually in 2010 the park and surrounding land was sold to the city. But the greenhouses were not protected. Thereupon the site was dismantled and moved to a botanic garden in Kommern in 2019. The Müschpark, registered as a protected garden monument since 2010, is now part of the Lousberg Landscape Park. I visited the ‘Gewächshäuser der Zukunft’ in 2014.