It feels appropriate that the former Germania Brewery, with its vivid red brick and towering smokestack, looms above the northern part of Münster like a beacon. Over the last four years, the building—an historical landmark built in the 19th century that now contains Factory Hotel—has spurred a renaissance for the historic Westfalian town. “Nobody used to come to this area, but now Münster residents travel here to go out or to eat or to shop,” says David Deilmann, the unassuming, self-deprecating visionary behind the hotel.
“There are so many things to do.” To hear Deilmann describe it, his winding path to the Factory Hotel was a bit like destiny. The descendant of a long tradition of influential Münster architects, Deilmann left the city only to return as an adult and find himself in the midst of a place in the process of remaking itself. “I think I inherited a creative temperament,” he says. And he means that quite literally. His grandfather, Harald Deilmann, designed some of the area’s most famous buildings, including the Münster Theater, and his father, Andreas, also a trained architect, is one of the city’s best-known real estate developers. But David was also born with a profound love for Münster itself, and the university town’s lively mix of youthful dynamism and Westfalian tradition.
For someone whose background was in jurisprudence and advertising, and who admits that he knew almost nothing about hospitality when he started, Deilmann understood that creating the Factory wouldn’t always be easy, but he also knew to trust his instincts.“I think my strength, broadly speaking, is that I didn’t come directly out of a hotel or the restaurant background,” he explains, “so I can really see things through the eyes of a guest.” This allowed him to focus on creating the kind of club, restaurant, or bar that he would actually want to go to.
Four years later, he feels gratified by the extent to which Münster has embraced his vision. With more and more Münster residents trekking to the Factory and with the neighborhood’s accelerating renaissance, he’s come to see himself as an important player in the evolving fabric of the city. On a more personal note, he’s also finally able to think of himself as part of his family’s illustrious architectural legacy. “I think that I am, in a way, an architect working in a different form, and I think my father is excited to see it.”