Bike Touring Highlight (Segment)
The Phoenix Lake is a 24-hectare lake on the approximately 99-acre site of the former Hermannshütte in Dortmund-Hörde. For years, high-quality housing units, buildings for trade and offices, a marina, a floating stage, pleasure islands, a promenade and gastronomy have sprung up on its banks. 3 million cubic meters of soil were dredged for the 3 meter deep lake. Ten years after the first planning, the official starting signal for the flooding was given on October 1, 2010.For more than 160 years, the site is dominated by a steel mill. It will be closed in 2001, the groundbreaking ceremony will be held in 2005, followed by dredging for four years: the old facilities and their massive foundations have to be dug up, old mine tunnels are being filled up. The excavators are moving more than 2.5 million cubic meters of soil: they are laying terraces on which the first houses will be built from 2011 onwards. To the west is the port, a bit further the "cultural island", which is connected to the shore by a bridge and should offer space for concerts or theater performances. The east is quieter: between the two residential areas creates a green area with a large hill. 67m euros will be spent on the whole project by the Dortmund Public Utilities (DSW21).
At the beginning of the sea filling, the pumps were turned off, keeping the groundwater low. In a year then ran about 600 000 cubic meters of ground and fresh water in the lake. Not only the lake determines the area, but also a river: the Emscher. For more than 160 years, it had to pass through a canal as a sewage flow. Now she is allowed to meander away from the lake along freshwater meadows, separated from Lake Phoenix by a lakeside promenade.
The Phoenix Lake is with the surrounding area a residential and recreational area with restaurants and commercial buildings. Responsible for planning and construction are the Phoenix-See-Entwicklungsgesellschaft, which is a subsidiary of Dortmunder Stadtwerke, the Emschergenossenschaft and the city of Dortmund. The location is the 96-hectare site of the former Hermannshütte in Dortmund-Hörde (Hörder Bergwerks- und Hütten-Verein).
The pond has a length of 1230 meters, a maximum width of 310 meters and a maximum depth of about 4.6 meters. The area is about 24 hectares and the capacity about 600,000 m³. The lake is also a building block in the renaturation of the Emscher. Its design as a rainwater retention basin protects the downstream residential and commercial buildings on the banks of the Emscher from flooding. It can be held back at the Mönchsbauwerk in the harbor basin and returned to the Emscher in a controlled manner.
For the visitor to understand the popularity of this tiny artificial lake, increasingly surrounded by dense housing developments, means to recognize the symbolism of this urban renewal project for the inhabitants of this former coal & steel city. Like the Phoenix rose from the ashes of Greek mythology, so does in the eyes of clever marketing this 2000 unit housing development rise on the excavated toxic remains of the former Phoenix steel plant, piled around the hole that has in 2010 been filled with water to form a lake. Yes, there are more beautiful bodies of water with trees instead of housing cubes all throughout the green Ruhr river valley nearby, and jogging or biking around a 1 mile trail isn't all that interesting, except perhaps to ponder the 1 million Euro annual maintenance bill for constantly filtering a dead body of water created without an in- or out-flow. But in the eyes of this battered region that over the past three decades managed a turn around from a rust-belt of unemployment to a modern center of high-tech, it symbolizes their own new beginning.
And yes, stopping at the lake to grab an ice-cream while biking along the beautifully laid out Emscher River bike path is indeed a fun excursion. Also, the list of fun events, from music and art exhibits to dragon-boat races and sailing tournaments, is indeed an enrichment of the local scene. So rise, Phoenix, rise.