With the new concept for the concert hall and the integration of the public library into the Culture Palace, the building – which was opened in 1969 – is to resume its original central role as an urban cultural meeting point.
The original rooms, the sequence of which around the central concert hall is being retained with the foyers facing the Altmarkt, are being refurbished in keeping with the historic structure, together with the choir rehearsal hall and the central stairwells, while the façades are being upgraded to modern energy standards.
A new concert hall is being created in the central part of the building. This will be the main venue of the Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra, as well as offering the possibility of multifunctional use. There will be additional functions such as the central city library, the “Herkuleskeule” cabaret venue, the visitor center for the Frauenkirche, and the Dresden information point.
The new, vineyard-shaped hall is the core of the project, offering seating for approx. 1,800 visitors. The stage is placed at the center, and the audience moves close to the podium. In order to achieve first-class acoustics for concerts, the architects reduce the width of the new venue and opt for panels with complex surface orientation that distribute the sound throughout the space.
A reflector above the stage helps the musicians to hear each other. The podium itself will be equipped with mobile, electrically controllable lift platforms, which can be used to arrange different performance settings in a very short space of time. The new concert hall is visually determined by clear geometric structures.
The highlight is a permanently installed organ which, with 55 registers, is particularly suited for the symphonic repertoire of the 19th and 20th centuries and which thereby will be unique amongst organs in Dresden.
The story underneath the stage will accommodate tuning rooms for various instrument groups, individual changing rooms for guest artists, a storage room for keyboard instruments, a staff bistro, and offices for the employees of the venue and of the Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra. The first floor has a rehearsal room, wardrobes for members of the orchestra, archives and storage rooms.
Additional storage rooms for equipment and the rehearsal rooms for percussion are located in the cellar. All three levels of the back-stage area are linked via a large goods lift with direct access to the outside. The stage entrance on the north side also serves as central entrance for artists and personnel.
The first concert is scheduled to take place in March 2017, which is the opening date for the modernized Culture Palace. In this way, the state capital is reviving the idea of a cultural center that will please many people and do justice to the international standing of Dresden.
A place for the arts and for knowledge, a place for coming together and communication: the new Dresden Culture Palace takes this vision into the future. Source and Images Courtesy of gmp Architekten von Gerkan, Marg und Partner.