There are plans to turn the former fuel factory on the Radium site into a place where art reigns supreme. In time various artistic activities will be developed within the walls of the old building.
The national monument, which was put into use as a coke gas factory in 1907 and has been vacant for years, has been purchased by German artist and furniture designer Valentin Loellmann, known for, among other things, his bench at the entrance to Café Paulus, formerly De Poort café. Loellmann also has special plans for the former coking plant, where he will house his studio and there will also be a botanical garden and spaces for workshops and courses.
Incidentally, another building near the Radium site seems to be being given a new function. The municipality is currently conducting a feasibility study to see whether a "Digital Art Centre" can be located in the Gashouder, and another entrepreneur sees economic potential in the combination of digital projections and, for example, company events in the circular colossus on our city's edge.
In a coke oven, coking coal is heated to 1,800°F for up to 18 hours. During that time, the volatiles of the coal are driven into the offgas and a pure carbon form called “coke” remains. The coke, when exposed to oxygen, will immediately ignite and begin to burn. During the distillation process, a large amount of gas and smoke is generated, which – after purification – creates coke oven gas and other valuable by-products, such as tar, sulphur, ammonia, naphthalene and benzole.