Most of today’s large museums in Germany are either located in buildings specifically designed to host exhibitions or in older buildings that have a particular tradition.
The Gasometer in Oberhausen has a very special tradition and is a quite unusual location for exhibitions – it is giant gas tank or gas holder, which was used to store gas produced by the industrial iron works all over the city.
It was constructed in the late 1920s and in use until 1988. Instead of demolishing it like many other old industrial objects, it was then modified in the early 90s to hold large-scale exhibitions. The gas holder is about 117 meters (380 feet) tall and has a diameter of 68 meters (220 feet), making it the largest structure of its kind in Europe.
The first exhibition was held in 1994 and new ones have started on a yearly basis. The most current one is called Out of this World – Wonders of the Solar System and features images and models of our solar system as well as the instruments used to observe solar objects. Highlight of the exhibition is a realistic model of the moon, measuring 25 meters (80 feet) in diameter, which floats in the room.
If you get a chance to visit the Gasometer, I highly recommend it.
Gasometer website: http://www.gasometer.de/en_GB/index.php
3D model of the structure: http://www.sight3d.com/index.php?type=sights&id=8