The first phase of the refurbishment and enlargement of the state School of Ballet and Artistry is being inaugurated tomorrow. Speakers at the opening ceremony of the refurbished old buildings and new extensions designed by architects von Gerkan, Marg and Partners are the present Mayor of Berlin Klaus Wowereit, the senator for urban development Ingeborg Junge-Reyer and school principal Dr. Ralf Stabel. The present phase of construction took 30 months to complete, and comprises a new hall with ten dance rooms plus the refurbishment of the existing school building dating from the 1960s. Still to be completed (by the end of 2011) is a four-storey boarding school for 70 pupils on the same site.
The design for the school complex in Erich Weinert Strasse does justice to the international reputation of the State Ballet School of Berlin. The overall architectural concept focuses on the special nature of the school, with its constant ebb and flow of pupils between the creative world of dance and the classic functions of full-time schooling. A curved multi-storey hall runs through the new building, with the adjacent four-storey school and ballet rooms facing each other. The various areas of the ensemble are related to each other above this linking space, and accessed on the second floor via a bridge. Large circular toplights provide natural light and a pleasant ambience.
The muted black and white tones of the interior emphasize the characteristic shape of the building. Coloured reveals in the apertures between public areas and dance rooms provide a contrast to this. Large display-window openings in the façade provide transparency and a view of the outside world for the dancers and give passers-by a glimpse of the ballet rooms and dance.
Competition 2006 – 1st prize
Design Volkwin Marg and Hubert Nienhoff with Kristian Uthe-Spencker
Partner Hubert Nienhoff
Project management Kristian Uthe-Spencker, Michael Scholz
Staff Marie Poth, Kerstin Otte, Chris Hättasch, Tomomi Arai, Rene Wiegand, Sarah Gerg, Elena Flegler, Irena Ludwig
Client Senate Administration for Urban Development, State of Berlin
Construction, first phase 2008-2010
GFA of first phase 8,891m²
Fotos Marcus Bredt