In a picturesque environment, edged by ponds of the Harz Mountains, surrounded by forests of fir and gorgeous alleys of maple trees, the headquarters of Sympatec GmbH are located on a plot of land, which has been moulded by the mining industry for centuries. It is home to the once richest mines of the Oberharz, “Dorothee” and “Caroline”. Still today, cairn stones, which mark the border of the “Burgstätter Revier”, and the operational air shaft of the Caroline mine make reference to the 17th century. Amidst this world cultural heritage, the protected historical monument “Pulverhäuschen”, a storage for mining explosives, displays an early application of powder technology.
Just alongside, the new Pulverhaus has been established in 2004. Its purpose is no longer the storage for explosives. It is home to design, manufacture and development of innovative particle sizing technology that is marketed and supported worldwide. Today, Sympatec instruments are highly appreciated for their unrivalled performance regarding the characterization of dry powders. The signatures of Goethe, Heine, Schopenhauer as well as James Watt and Alfred Nobel in the visitor’s book of the 18th and 19th century witness the early achievements of underground mining technology. Today’s visitors may explore leading technology in particle size analysis above ground.
The Pulverhaus pools the company’s innovation strength to further develop product oriented instruments for most demanding laboratory applications including automated lab solutions. For process control in production lines, integrated applications of proven technologies have already been realized in combination with reliable sample coupling systems. Pulverhaus is brand home to the Sympatec instruments, founded at a famous location with a fine tradition in innovation. It is known as one of the few centres of competence of powder technology, enjoying an excellent global reputation.
Innovation from tradition links high tech company to mining history
Prior to the start of Pulverhaus construction on this historic mining site the hangover of the former mining heaps had to be redeveloped. Following the results of extensive soil analysis, a large-scale sealing was regarded the most acceptable decontamination solution. For realisation of this goal two large heaps and the required fire pond, the building itself, parking lots and the roads were created to seal the surface. Thus, the long-term motive of mining is consistently utilised and extended from today to the future.
Concept of the building follows corporate culture
The light flushed three-storey entrance hall provides a variety of vivid impressions to the visitors. This central part of the building follows the historic alignment of the area and opens the viewing direction to the forests in the east. To the west Pulverhaus is linked to the remaining buildings of the mining era. An underground connection leads to the Caroline weather shaft and from the exit through an authentic alley of trees to the historic Pulverhaus.
Yield flags from the past times and the original cairn stones of the Dorothea and Caroline mines decorate the entrance area. Dozens of national flags are pending from the ceiling and superb headgear salute from the gallery, representing the more than 50 countries Sympatec is represented in with own daughter companies, sales offices or with partners. A noble Bösendorfer grand piano testifies of the open events held here on a regular basis. Modern Art on the issue of “Nature and People” shapes the walls.
The leadership concept becomes evident at the passages with pre-Socratic words of wisdom once being displayed at the Apollon Temple in Delphi. The defining concept over the main entrance states “Everything with measure.” At the door to the office of the management director it says “Who learns to follow, learns to lead also.” “Reveal your secrets.” is the motto at the entrance of the development department. Customer support and technical service take the advice “Remember your friends.” “Calm is the most beautiful.” is the invitation to relax at the Cafeteria with its deck and lake-view. Visitors or employees leaving the building, are left with the encouragement to ”Recognise yourself.”
„Light house” with yield flags
The ensemble of modern buildings of steel, stone and glass is dominated by the Pulverturm. At his upper platform a fall shaft originates, ending 26 metres deeper in the test house. It can be used for determination of the size distribution of plus 10 mm particles with the help of a laser detector. The tower offers a unique view over the Harz mountains and the opening cupola provides a look to the stars.
The Pulverturm is flanked with yield flags indicating already in the medieval mining that a mine was profitable. The line of flags is annually extended, provided Sympatec was successful. Related to this is an earmarked donation to the Marktkirche foundation and other community spirit projects. After descend from the tower to the flag platform the famous pre-Socratic philosopher Bias reminds us that “Everything big is dangerous”.