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Born in the Industrial Revolution, the factory has long been considered like a monster of iron, subjugating the individual to the collective in an act of mass dehumanisation.Turning away from the pure functionality for which it was built, the factory is evolving into an aesthetic space, sometimes transformed into modern lofts or a museum of contemporary art. The surprising photographs featured in this work help us rediscover the volume, purity of line, beauty, and stunningly modern architecture of these steelboned monuments.



Publié par
Date de parution 31 décembre 2015
Nombre de lectures 1
EAN13 9781785259265
Langue English
Poids de l'ouvrage 4 Mo

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Baseline Co Ltd.
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© Parkstone Press International, New York, USA
© Confidential Concepts, Worldwide, USA
Image-Bar www.image-bar.com

All modification and reproduction rights reserved internationally. Unless otherwise stated, copyright for all artwork reproductions rests with the photographers who created them. Despite our research efforts, it was impossible to identify authorship rights in some cases. Please address any copyright claims to the publisher.

ISBN: 978-1-78525-926-5

Zollverein Coal Mine, Essen, Germany.


Factories, with their towering smokestacks, structured assembly lines and massive facilities, stand as powerful symbols of efficiency and productivity. Originating in Great Britain, industrialisation began to spread throughout Europe in the late 18th century. The Industrial Revolution, thus proliferated, sparked a complete transformation of socio-economic activity. Catalyst of modern times, this period was fuelled by several inventions and discoveries that drastically improved the efficiency of certain industries. For example, in the textile field, modernisation transformed the weaving profession from a craft to a veritable industry. New forms of energy were introduced, particularly the steam engine, which permitted the conversion of thermal energy into mechanical energy, revolutionising modes of transportation and, therefore, commerce.
Throughout the 19th century, people left their lands in the countryside to work at the factories, which claimed to guarantee better earnings. This rural exodus therefore took place to the benefit of a more promising urban world.
These major changes, which affected social organisation and the relationships between different social classes, triggered the emergence of a middle class eager for new products to consume. At the beginning of the 20th century, factories became more and more important, encouraging economic growth.
After World War II, a large part of European industry, which had been destroyed, and American war industries were transformed into industries of consumption. New production techniques were put into place, particularly driven by a working class who was tired of the Taylorism that had been established in the late 19th century, and who hoped to rediscover a form of personal growth through work. New management techniques led to fundamental changes in the way people worked, and, little by little, sites of production were abandoned.
Factories often represent ideal sites for urbanisation, and several cities have transformed their old, run-down industrial districts into trendy, spacious housing and commercial areas that attract businesses and middle- to upper-class inhabitants, regenerating economic growth in neighbourhoods formerly neglected or impoverished.
However, as rapid worldwide industrialisation plays a primary role in air pollution, the production of toxic waste and greenhouse gas emissions, which are key causes of global warming, active factories are at the centre of heated environmental debates. This is why the Kyoto Protocol, signed in 1997, aims to fight against climate change by reducing carbon gas emissions. Effective as of 2005, it has so far been ratified by 189 countries.
Preserved vestiges of an industrial past, areas of contemporary life or active centres of industry attempting to adapt to modern concerns, factories remain key elements in daily life into which art so often invites itself, transforming utilitarian buildings into remarkable architectural works and surprisingly beautiful, unconventional works of art.
Zollverein Coal Mine (hoist), Essen, Germany.

Old factory in Allaire Village, New Jersey, U.S.A.
A factory and sheep, Keynsham, Somerset, England.
Industrial smoke from a large chimney.
Old steel mill in winter.

Steel is a metallic alloy, essentially composed of iron and carbon. Produced using blast furnaces, cast iron, from which steel is extracted, is refined using a heating process called decarburisation, which makes it possible to remove any impurities. Alloying the material with elements like manganese, nickel, chromium and vanadium produces steel. The largest steel mill in the world can be found in Gwangyang, in South Korea.
Cityscape, Birmingham, England.
Factory in a harbour, Aarhus, Denmark.
Entrance to Zollern mine, Dortmund, Germany.

More and more coal mines have been abandoned in recent decades. Rich in industrial history, some former coal mines have even been turned into tourist attractions. Nowadays, some former mines invite tourists to have a closer look at their interesting history. At the time of its commission, the Zeche Zollern in Dortmund (pictured at left) was a classic example of a coal mine. The “Castle of Work”, as it was called, was a model of architecture, audaciously exhibiting a mixture of Historicism and Art Nouveau styles, and technical prowess, as it featured the first electrical hoist.
Old brick factory with chimney.

Almost all of the buildings that were constructed during the Industrial Revolution in England, including most factories that date from this time, were made out of brick. The 19th-century architecture of New York and Boston also demonstrates a preference for brick above other construction materials. The oldest bricks were found in the upper Tigris region. The Roman tradition of using fired bricks spanned centuries, and the principle can still be found in brick construction in southern and western Germany. The Gothic brick style, which evolved in Northern Europe in the 12th century due to a lack of available natural stone, can still be found in Denmark, Germany, Poland and Russia.
Multi-storey penthouse on the roof of an old factory.
A Victorian mill, now lying in ruins at Sneinton, Nottingham, England.

During the Victorian era, the city of Nottingham was known for its production of bicycles, but most particularly for textiles. The city became an important centre for lace manufacturing, as a result of its abundant machinery. However, after World War II, Britain could no longer compete in price with textile companies in Asia, and the once-flourishing enter prises in this part of the country

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