When Nordhorn published its first map, the title page featured the city’s most modern building, the newly built high-rise mill built by the Niehues & Dütting textile company. The architect Philipp Jakob Manz extended the factory complex in the Neues Bauen style. The NINO High-Rise is now regarded as an extraordinary industrial monument of the 1920s.
Niehues & Dütting began with only sixty employees in 1897 and was soon one of Germany’s most important textile producers, presenting itself with the slogan “The Very Best of the Best,” at the 1929 International Exposition at Barcelona. Niehues & Dütting had some 3200 employees by then and the plant was in urgent need of expansion, particularly as its biggest competitor, the spinning mill of Ludwig Povel & Co., had just opened a modern extension by Philipp Jakob Manz. Niehues & Dütting commissioned the same architect, a pioneer of industrial architecture.
The architect himself rejected his first draft of 1924, a neoclassical building with hipped roof. His final draft from February 1928 provides for a cubic construction with a flat roof, generously sized ribbon windows and a 40-meter-high stair and water tower. The reinforced-concrete skeleton frame construction offered light-flooded working spaces on each of its 2000-square-meterlarge stories. The building of the competition (demolished in 2010) resembled the high-rise almost exactly; only the tower was taller and it had a white plaster façade instead of simple clinker bricks.
After World War II—during which Niehues & Dütting used forced labor to fulfill military contracts – the company again experienced a period of prosperity. From 1950, it marketed its products under the NINO label, which would become a symbol of Germany’s post-war economic miracle. The trend reversed after the mid-1970s, and the plant closed in 1996. The NINO High-Rise stood empty for several years and was finally gutted and completely renovated according by the architect Rainer Kresing. Now a listed historical monument, the former textile factory reopened in 2010 as the “Business Competence Center”. A section on the first floor is used by Nordhorn’s municipal museum. [DB/HY]
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NINO Allee 11
Book: Bauhaus 100 Sites of Modernism
Extraordinary sites associated with the Bauhaus and modernism can be found throughout Germany—pioneering architecture that has enduringly shaped our understanding of life and work, learning and living. This travel guide brings the historical and architectural traces of over 100 examples of Neues Bauen building to life, making tangible the impact of the historical Bauhaus beyond the school, its sites and its time.