Fabrik der Fäden is a museum and community centre in the town of Plauen located in the Vogtland region of Saxony in eastern Germany.
The Weisbachsche Haus was built in 1776 as a factory for the lace and embroidery industry. The castle-like baroque building was built by Johann August Neumeister. The new building planned in the courtyard was designed by Neumann Architekten BDA. The new and old buildings are connected so that visitors can pass back and forth between the spaces.
Our concept aims to create a modern visitor centre for Plauen Lace and the wider textile industry. The new exhibition builds on the idea of lace as a special textile with its extraordinary patterns, as well as the rich variety of stories from people connected to its production to create an immersive experience.
In addition to the permanent exhibition introducing the history of the city, the centre is also planned to accommodate work spaces and museum funds and function as an event venue. The centre consists of two parts: the old building complex called the Weisbachsche Haus and the new building planned in the courtyard.
A transparent extension will be added in the courtyard of the existing four-storey building. The ground floor will host the foyer with a ticket office, museum shop, cloakroom and a large multifunctional hall. The exhibition itself begins on the first and second floor, while the attic level will host office rooms, a library, cafeteria and roof terraces.
Visitors will be guided through the building to learn about the world of lace, the history of the local textile industry, the technical background, lace patterns, the cultural history of lace. The stories of the many people involved creates a link between art, culture and technology. Numerous multi-media and hands-on stations help to provide visitors with a memorable experience.
We have structured the permanent exhibition around two different aspects of the lace industry: large scale manufacturing technology and fashion. The lace industry brought on a real revolution in mechanical engineering. This is echoed in the first hall, where visitors find themselves surrounded by life-sized machines illustrated by large rotating wheels, a motif that is repeated in the animated floor illuminated using LED lights.
The first and second floors bring visitors from pre and early industrialisation through the effects of the industrial revolution on the local textile industries and wider society – as told by the workers as well as through their tools, machines and products of their work. Between them an intermediate floor in the new extension provides an intimate setting to celebrate the City of Lace and its textiles through different eras.
A city map of Plauen from 1911, when the city lived through the peak of lace production, is turned into a lace pattern and leads visitors through the ground floor. This and many lace patterns will be placed on the floor and ceiling and used for several interior design elements. The graphic design concept for the exhibition proposes the use of a stencil font, referring to the cut-out principles of industrial lace textiles.
In the next room, visitors are introduced to the heyday of lace in fashion. It was fashion that caused the demand for lace to soar and the need to develop a new industry. The structure of the exhibition follows a loose chronological order, with a focus on one key topic at a time.
The very last room of the museum presents a visual outline of the museum’s name as well as lace. The room functions as an installation space, its walls covered with a life-size lace-patterned panel, which works together with a partition wall woven from threads to form a light and lacy spatial experience. The room also introduces the possibilities of using and producing lace both in the present day and in the future.
In between what is described here is a wealth of fascinating stories from history, interesting exhibits, and engaging interactive activity points and installations for the visitors, such as a lace kaleidoscope and larger-than-life grommets.