The sociocultural centre of the region of Zwickau
Today the industrial monument “Alter Gasometer” is not only a sight amid of Zwickau. It adds unmistakable zest to all kinds of events.
The construction of the „Alter Gasometer“ began in 1874. It was named “Gasometer C” and was the third and biggest one on the territory of the gasworks. It was opened in 1875. The capacity accounted 3000 m3. The “Gasometer” was built according to the principle of the bells, this means there was a bell, that was opened to the ground, in the rotunda. This bell was extended to the top if the “Gasometer” was filled to the maximum. Between the bell and the wall was a gap of about 75 cm, which was filled with water (in winter additionally with alcohol). The gas was created out of black coal. Co products like coke, tar and ammonia water were marketed as well.
Gas was created till the 9th of November 1900 at this place in Zwickau. After the close-down, the “Gasometer C” only was used as a store room. Since 1994 concepts for the preservation of this monument and its usage in the future as community centre and sociocultural centre were created by the town, the architects Andreas Kottusch and Michael Lotzmann and associations. At the 29th of October 1998 the city council of Zwickau made the decision for the extension of the building.
At the 23rd of August 2000, after a construction period of 15 months, the building was handed over to its new carrier “Alter Gasometer e.V. – sociocultural centre”. The refurbishment and equipment of the building were financed by aids of the European Structural funds (URBAN), as well as from aids of the support programme of the urbanistic monument conservation of the Federal Republic of Germany, the Free State of Saxony and the town Zwickau.
Concerts, performances, vaudevilles, celebrations, conferences and exhibitions, readings and cinema showings receive a memorable coulisse because of the special architecture. The “Alter Gasometer” is not only a location for events, the sociocultural centre is, as a barrier-free and smoke-free meeting and communication centre, as well a stage for various offers.
The effective area of 1700 m2 and the open area of 900 m2 accommodate associations, institutions, groups and projects. This is why there is a café for the youth called “BuZe”, the factory for music with rehearsal rooms for bands, the “world shop” with products of the Fair Trade, the bureau for coordination of the alliance of democracy and tolerance, the “IG Stadtökologie” and the “Cabana e.V.” next to the “Gasometer” in the club house.
To the main association belong 17 associations, 15 individual workers and 3 sustaining members at this time. The financing was backed up in the past by public subsidies of Zwickau, of the cultural area of the region around Zwickau, of the Free State of Saxony, of the Federal Republic of Germany, of generated proceeds as well as of private benefits.
The association is an approved carrier of youth welfare service and works actively within the “Jugendring Zwickau e.V.” and the “Landesverband Soziokultur Sachsen e.V” .
The description of the sociocultural centre is supposed to clarify, that it is an approach, which offers tolerance towards people of different ages, different origins, a different view of life and different religious views. Cultural, social, educational, logical and other contents form a holistic orientation.
In contrary to the increasing consumer behaviour, sociocultural centres want to create a high degree of codetermination and active shaping. The offers result from the needs of the users, they handle social everyday life, offer a coulisse for experiments and retroact to the community. This orientation means as well, that the achieved things are not the final product, they are under a constant change.
Alter Gasometer e.V.
Kleine Biergasse 3
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