Concert Hall Dresden – What the hall brings to the city – Culture

In addition to several first-class cultural sites, which a trip to Dresden comes highly recommended, another one was added this past weekend: the new concert hall in the old Kulturpalast, an architecturally and acoustically inspiring worship space for classical music right in the heart of the city, right in the heart of the city. As it is in many places in the world, and how Munich you will never get it. The cultural center will also be celebrated from the days of East Germany due to its happy development history; It could become a model for similar holdings in new federal states.

When people in Dresden in the 1960s were thinking about what kind of building could be erected on the Aufmarschstraße, today’s Wilsdruffer Straße, which cuts through the old town, and on the newly designed Altmarkt as an urban planning loop between the two parts of the divided city, people thought that at first they had to orient themselves towards the Union Buildings Soviet. The explosive turrets were designed in the unified socialist pomp of SED headquarters. But soon it was agreed to reserve a place for culture. The first draft again depicted a high-rise central tower with four small pagoda-like corner towers attached to the bottom, which seemed rather absurd. But then a decision was made in favor of a consistently modern design language and against a completely illogical, functional penis shape.

The old hall was too big for the Dresden Orchestra and acoustically unsatisfactory

However, the building only got its final appearance when Wolfgang Hänsch took over construction management and erected a low-rise three-storey building on a rectangular plot, which opens with a stately 100-meter-wide facade that generously opens onto the Altmarkt, which is glazed on three sides almost the entire height and on the first floor It provides pedestrian arcades on both sides. In this brightly structured cube, Hansch suspended a multifunctional hall for 2,500 visitors with a hexagonal floor plan. This hall has an almost endlessly spacious stage for all conceivable events and a huge, slightly sloping balcony located in a U-shaped hexagon.

However, in parquet, the sloping floor can be alternately laid flat and tilted over its entire length and width. Functionally, the hall fulfilled the wishes of the most diverse organizers. But as the concert hall of the Dresden Philharmonic, the city’s second-largest classical orchestra with a long and proud tradition, the very large and acoustically unsatisfactory hall was always just a temporary and an obstacle in the way of international recognition.

It does not always have to be a new building: the exterior view of the Dresden Palace of Culture.

(Photo: Nikolai Lund)

So at one point the city decided to build a new internationally competitive hall for classical concerts in place of the multi-purpose hall, which needed to be renovated anyway. The aim was to provide the municipal orchestra, always operating under outstanding conductors, with adequate performance and training opportunities. Since the spatial reduction of the hall and the renovation of the building have saved enormous space, other cultural institutions can also be accommodated in the Palace of Culture.

The nicest side effect: the house, which is in the middle of the city, is now open all day

In the spacious side wings on either side of the Concert Hall, where restaurants, cafés and meeting rooms were created for the privileged of the former East German regime, the new Central Library of the Municipal Libraries is furnished in the most luxurious way in both. higher floors. The four long wings that are well lit from the side and extend back from the front of the Altmarkt, are connected to each other behind the concert stage and to each other by stairs. It takes some time to walk through all the sections. The music department, for example, is enviably large. But the new rooms with numerous islands, upholstered seating niches, electronic work tables and listening chairs are also very attractive to children, young adults, and readers of specialized literature.

The nicest side effect of the newly relocated educational institute is the fact that the centrally located building, formerly only open in the evening, is now accessible all day long and invites you to visit. The spacious foyer, originally designed for the multi-purpose hall, which today provides plenty of space for strolling during classical concerts, serves as an information center and reading lounge for the city library during the day. The lending and cash desks are closed before the concert and pushed aside.

When you look at Kulturpalast on opening day, you can definitely feel excited

Gerkan, Marg and Partners (gmp) Hamburg office has won the Kulturpalast transformation competition. The architect Stefan Schutz, who was entrusted with the detailed planning, succeeded in finding a convincing compromise between the ideas of his office and the desires and requirements of the new institutions to be accommodated and the requirements for the protection of the monument. From the outside, the meticulously restored steel and glass block looks like a monument to the classic modernism just put in place in the city. As the three fountains that were placed in front of the entrance facade when the Kulturpalast opened in 1969 and have since had to give way to rapid traffic on Wilsdruffer Straße, are now again floating in their longitudinally rectangular basins, one can see what the Cultural Palace looks like Old on re-opening day, I feel a bit excited.

Leave a Comment