Indemann / Maurer United Architects

Architects: Maurer United Architects [MUA]
Location: Inden,
Project Leaders: Marc Maurer, Nicole Maurer
Collaborators: Gaby Vanhommerig, Joost Eggermont, Christoph Meyers, Roy Konings, Alan Frijns, Annika Frencken, Peggy Maurer, Danielle Konings
Construction Advisor: Arup GmbH, Düsseldorf
W-Installations Advisor: Ingenieurbüro Inco GmbH
E-Installations Advisor: T + N Ingenieure GbR
Contractor: Metalbau Teufert GmbH
Project Area: 860 sqm
Budget: € 2,500,000
Design Year: 2004-2008
Construction Year: 2009
Photographs: [MUA]

exploded axo

In the municipality of Inden, in Germany, there is a brown coal open cast mine and in order to excavate the mineral resources several entire villages were relocated within the municipality. The mine currently covers an area of 4,500 hectares and excavation has created an unusual landscape. This scene will change after 2030 when the excavation work stops since the site will be transformed into a large area for water sports and other recreation called ‘Der Indische See’. The municipality Inden wanted to erect a watchtower and landmark at this location. MUA decided on using the shape of an immense, 36 m tall robot: the Indemann. The Indemann’s design is characterised by its striking external appearance, but the real surprise lies in the staged experiences that the visitors can expect in its interior. The public experience the building as a composition of architectonic experiments, with tremendous overhanging elements, surprising transparencies and, for example, accessible grid floors in the outstretched robot arm 18 metres above the ground. In addition to this the front has had 40,000 LED’s incorporated into it. This is the first LED façade to be realised on this scale in Europe and it works like a folded screen and can have animations projected onto it. In this way the watchtower creates a true lighthouse effect when it’s dark. Since its completion the building has come to be seen as a ‘Wahrzeichen der Region’: a landmark for the Euregio Maas-Rhine. The watchtower alongside the A4 motorway between Aachen and Cologne unites ‘Dutch Design’ with ‘German Efficiency’. With this design MUA not only refers to the giant excavators but also marks the transition from an industrial to a media-based era. The opening attracted 10.000 visitors.

© Maurer United Architects [MUA
© Maurer United Architects [MUA

“We started the Indemann project by writing a fairy tale that established the region’s profile. In the fairy tale the people finally built a monument for a giant, the Indemann, who they have helped physically, but mainly strategically, in the story. The fact that this watchtower has now been completed shows that fairy tales can become reality.”

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Cite: "Indemann / Maurer United Architects" 21 Mar 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed 22 May 2015. <>
  • lc

    just so so

    • blackstone

      oh please… what’s not to love?

  • lisa

    the giant robot wants to shake hands, cute.

  • urbane.abuse

    Awesome! Giant robots always are.

  • PS

    I would love to see what it looks like from a distance.

  • Krzysztof_Pydo

    -Powiedz mi. Po co jest ten miś?
    -Właśnie! Po co!?
    -Otóż to! NIKT nie wie po co, więc nie musisz się obawiac, że ktos zapyta. Wiesz co robi ten miś? On odpowiada żywotnym potrzebom całego społeczeństwa. To jest miś na skalę naszych możliwości. Ty wiesz co my robimy tym misiem? My otwieramy oczy niedowiarkom. PATRZCIE mówimy to NASZE, przez NAS wykonane i to nie jest nasze ostatnie słowo! I nikt nie ma prawa sie przyczepic. :)

  • Lee

    is that a gag or is it serious? anyhow … i find it very clever. clever in a way to create a unique landmark that everybody will be eager to visit in the next 20 years who comes to this region – just imagine what effect it will have on this area and the actual spot. and clever enough to spice a bit up our thinking about architecture. i do believe sometimes we need projects like this!

  • Mookie

    I Am Ironman!

    Heavy boots of lead fills his victims full of dread.
    running as fast as they can Ironman lives again.

  • Felipe Goes

    beatiful structure.

  • Peter K.

    I live in that region and it has absolutely NO EFFECT on the tourism of the Indenland.
    Am I the only person who unrealized that this robot is making a Nazi salute. Not a really good promotion for a german region.

    • Walter Zabel

      I live nearby and understand that not only with the opening 10.000 visitors went there, but ever since 10.000 visitors visit the watchtower EVERY MONTH! – A nice number for ..

      • eili

        i also live close to it.
        but i ever managed to go there when its dark and the robot is illuminated..maybe one day :)
        happy 2 see that something regional is on AD!!

    • eili

      NAZI SALUTE ?! come on .. thats a bit too much of interpretation.. was just 2 say something, right ?!

  • sdf

    whoa, the modern wickerman!

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  • RK

    I think the design is great. I know the in the description, I didn’t hear any talk of this being a sustainable project (I am suspecting the project to be a bit on the wasteful extremes side of things), but without addressing those issues this is still a very powerful design, and I do believe that things like this can vitalize communities. If I ever travel to Germany anytime soon I will definitely try to stop by to see this.

    (BTW, I don’t at all think the robot is giving a Nazi salute, that seems a bit crazy.)

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  • Viqui

    Love it!! I would have added square LED eyes!

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  • JW

    Last year I was assigned by the municipality of Inden/Germany to build a 3D-model of the “Indemann” for an interactive presentation shown on an international real estate fair.

    Have a look at:

  • truth

    I get suspicious by all the pictures taken from one side, so it’s really so awful from another sides. I suppose it is.