In 1993, with the closure of the coking plant, production at Zollverein finally ceased. Together with Zollverein's central Shaft XII, the coking plant was designed by Fritz Schupp. Construction of the plant began in 1957 and coke production started in 1961. As with Shaft XII, the coking plant offered superlative production capacities: Europe's most modern coking plant at that time was expanded in the early 1970s into one of the world's largest coking plants with a length of about 1 km. In total, the coking plant covers approximately 43 ha, nearly half of the entire protected site.
The ongoing revitalisation of the coking plant area witnessed its first milestone in 1999 with the final exhibition of the International Building Exhibition (IBA) Emscher Park "Sun, Moon, and Stars", which took place in the newly converted mixing plant (Mischanlage) and almost half the area of the coke oven battery, gaining wider public acknowledgment of and access to the site. Masterplans, conservation principles, development guidelines, and formal planning processes were leading instruments in the revitalisation process. From the very beginning, the redevelopment focused on cultural projects, such as the Salzlager event venue, mixing plant, and the recently converted Grand Hall. With the construction of the new administrative headquarters of RAG Montan Immobilien and RAG-Stiftung with RAG Aktiengesellschaft, the focus also includes commercial development of the Zollverein coking plant site. The RAG Group is a central actor not only in Ruhr mining (including funding the remediation and consequential costs of mining operations) but also prepares former coal mining sites for new uses.
Long-term perspective: The conservation principles define the protection and conservation area (the core), and enable and guide change and development through new buildings in the surrounding area (the shell). The coking plant site strengthens tourism activities (e.g., through the Denkmalpfad and the event venues), and addresses the settlement not only of office locations but also of creative industries and educational institutions, aiming at new job opportunities.