The large estate in Rendsburg/Büdelsdorf in Schleswig-Holstein supplied Rendsburg Castle with agricultural products from the 14th century onwards. The first industrial development in the duchies of Schleswig and Holstein took place here in 1827 with the establishment of the Carlshütte iron foundry. When this industrial operation finally closed in 1997, Hans-Julius Ahlmann, Managing Partner of the internationally active ACO Group, took over the grounds with its enormous foundry halls and the historic housing and commercial properties.
Ever since then, Kunstwerk Carlshütte, with its wide range of different performance and presentation locations, has developed into a very special venue for exhibitions, concerts, readings, plays and film presentations.
Its centrepiece is NordArt, one of the largest international exhibitions of contemporary art in Europe, which is redesigned annually by Chief Curator Wolfgang Gramm at this incomparable location, featuring the historic iron foundry and extensive old park area. The exhibition grounds include the huge aisles of the Carlshütte with their 22,000 square metres of floor space, the charming ACO Wagenremise building and an 80,000 square metres sculpture park. NordArt attracts more than 100,000 of visitors every summer.
Since 2011 the Kunstwerk Carlshütte has been home to the international Festival Orchestra of the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival. The rehearsal and concert room ACO Thormann Hall provides space for 1200 listeners. NordArt and Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival, both of which cultivate the worldwide network of artists, are also driving the crossover of fine arts and music. Since 2015, festival concerts have also taken place amidst NordArt.
The Kunstwerk Carlshütte is a non-profit cultural initiative of the globally active ACO Group and the towns of Büdelsdorf and Rendsburg.
Hosts at Kunstwerk Carlshütte are the entrepreneurial couple Hans-Julius and Johanna Ahlmann.