Am Thyssenhaus 1, 45128 Essen
In the 1950s, a high-rise belt was built in the south of the city centre with which Essen wanted to present itself as a modern business location. In addition to the RWE building and the Postscheckamt, this silhouette is characterised by the Rheinstahlhaus.
After the restructuring of Rheinstahl AG (steelworks) after the Second World War, the previous headquarters, the Arenberghaus, had become too small. A larger new building was to be erected on the same site. Albert Peter Kleinwort was the winner of a competition among ten architects held in 1956. Hanns Dustmann, who later also designed the RWE building, supported him in the planning and execution.
Construction work began in 1958 with the construction of a large garage with spiral ramp. There was also a petrol station, a car wash and a workshop. To prevent the dangers of mining damage, the building was stabilized with deep concrete piles in the rock bottom and a torsion-resistant hollow box foundation. The foundation stone for the high-rise building was laid in October 1959 and Rheinstahl AG was able to move into it in May 1961.
The Rheinstahlhaus is built in the International Style and is based on American high-rise buildings. With this representative architectural language, the client presented himself as a world-class company.
The almost 77-meter-high building has around 16,000 square meters of office space on 22 floors. The first 18 offices have a uniform depth of 5.3 metres and are accessed via a central corridor. On the 19th floor there are four meeting rooms, on the 20th floor the dining room, above it the casino and the kitchen.
It is a steel skeleton construction with an inner reinforced concrete core surrounding the elevators and stairwells. A total of 1064 tons of steel were used for the steel structure and 205 tons of steel for the core structure.
The vertical axes of the façade are determined by stainless steel profiles, between which are four-axis rows of steel windows with balustrades made of dark natural stone. The greater room heights of the 19th and 20th upper floors are reflected on the outside in the stronger subdivision of the windows.
In 1963 a 7-storey administration building was added instead of the demolished Arenberghaus. A bridge connects the two buildings.
After the takeover by August-Thyssen-Hütte in 1976, the Rheinstahlhaus became the Thyssenhaus. After Thyssen employees moved into their new headquarters in the West Quarter in 2014, the company was sold to FAKT AG in 2015 and has been known as FAKT Tower ever since. In the same year, the building complex was listed as a historical monument.
In the course of a major renovation in 2016/2017, the original natural stone frames of the façade were replaced by aluminium. The conference floor on the 19th floor and the foyer have been preserved. All other rooms were modernised with regard to technical equipment and fire protection.