HALLE 14 is an independent, non-profit art centre in the largest production building on the premises of the former Leipzig Cotton Spinning Mill. Key projects of HALLE 14 are international exhibitions of contemporary art, lectures and events, an art library and an art education program for children and young adults. HALLE 14 also provides other non-profit institutions with exhibition spaces. The renovation of the 20.000 m2, five-story former industrial building HALLE 14 is a vital aspect of its revitalisation. So far, approximately one third of the building is permanently used. All other spaces are to be developed step by step.
The entire site of the former Leipzig Cotton Spinning Mill (Spinnerei) houses artist studios, art spaces, galleries, craftspeople, architects, printers and many others. It is being developed by a private company, the Leipziger Baumwollspinnerei Verwaltungsgesellschaft mbH. Within the last ten years, the area has become a thriving “cosmos of arts and culture“, known within the city and region as well as nationally and internationally. The revitalisation process of the so-called Spinnerei has had remarkable influence on the neighboring quarters, a stabilisation of the development is now at stake. HALLE 14 can play a crucial role in this process of sustainability while it is growing to be a flourishing art centre.
More than 125 years ago, in the year 1884, the Leipziger Baumwollspinnerei Aktiengesellschaft, a joint-stock company founded to profit from the rising demand for cotton in Germany and Europe, bought a lot of around 10 hectares on the western outskirts of Leipzig. In the subsequent years, four huge production buildings were erected along with workers’ houses, service buildings and even a kindergarden. By 1907, the Leipzig Cotton Spinning Mill had become the biggest cotton spinning mill in continental Europe. At its best times, up to 4.000 workers (many of them women) were employed in the factory.
The Leipzig Cotton Spinning Mill continued its production for over 100 years, enduring ups and downs during World War I, World War II and the German Democratic Republic. In 1989, there were still about 1,650 people working in the Spinnerei. Production was reduced gradually, e.g. HALLE 14 was shut down in 1992. When the last part of production finally ceased in the year 2000, it employed about 40 people.
From the early 1990s onwards, a completely new phase in the use of the site began. The empty rooms were opened up for alternative projects. It was mostly artists who acted as the pioneers of revitalisation. Some well known international artists, such as Neo Rauch, were among the first to settle here and they continue to work on the premises. Today, Spinnerei provides over 100 artist studios and it is home to 11 galleries and art spaces.