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Making of...

The water tower of Broich was only used for catering for several years. But then he slowly felt into oblivion, because the possibilities of using the building had been reduced due to the architectural design of high quality. 
The Camera Obscura has not been affected by the changes the tower went through during the last century.  

The first plans and thoughts about a “museum of media” in the tower in connection to the Camera Obscura have already existed when Mülheim was the host of the regional Garden Show in 1992.  But the realisation was more difficult than expected. A generous financial contribution by the RWE Aqua GmbH finally laid the foundation for the possibility to buy a collection that would fit into the concept and that gave the tower a new image.

Eine Anamorphose des Broicher Wasserturms im Innern des Museums.

The county administration of North Rhine-Westphalia supported the renovation of the listed industrial building as well, so the project could be realized.

A very creative team was responsible for the refreshing of the interior design and the redevelopment of the building. The association of the architect and szenograph Professor Dr. Hans-Hermann Hofstadt of the Hofstadt Multimedia company and the set designer Dr. Heike Niechoj and Helmut Kessler of the Kessler & Co. Company designed an extraordinary concept. 
A quotation by Professor Hofstadt: “…due to its height a water tower has a particular function … It was just used to keep a particular amount of water in a special height, to guarantee a constant pressure in the water pipe… 15 years ago in Mülheim an der Ruhr/Broich a little and old water tower, which never wanted to raise above and which was therefore totally unknown and which was not needed anymore, was being made immortal in an totally different – exciting - way. With a simple trick which was also already known for a long time, the water tower was converted into a lighthouse: The light is not able to shine far and bright out of the zenith of the dome, but in contrast to this it shines through a little opening at the same point into a dark, round room. Camera Obscura – the photographical reproduction of the surrounding world in front of us on a bright surface of a table. What a conciliatory gesture…”
It was the intention of the planners to maintain the “rough skin” and natural appearance of the tower and stock it with a museum which conveys the knowledge of this topic in a playful way with high quality. Today this idea is presented in the impressive Museum of “Prehistory of Film” in the Camera Obscura.

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