Germany, Dresden 

Kulturpalast, Modernization and Refurbishment, New Construction of Concert Hall


International competition 2009 – 1st Prize
Design Meinhard von Gerkan and Stephan Schütz with Nicolas Pomränke
Project management, competition Clemens Kampermann
Competition design Verena Coburger
Project management Christian Hellmund
Design team Clemens Ahlgrimm, Roman Bender, Stephanie Brendel, Verena Coburger, Christian Dorndorf, Ivanka Perkovic, Annette Löber, Anna Liesicke, Ursula Köper, Tiago Henriques, Laia Caparo, Julius Hüpeden, Patrick Machnacki, Giuseppina Orto, Michael Scholz, René Wiegand, Dörte Groß, Florian Illenberger, Laura Warskulat (student), Ralitsa Bikova (student), Robin Lauritzen (student), Jessika Krebs (student)
Site supervision gmp Bernd Adolf, in cooperation with phase 8
Structural design ProfessorPfeiferundpartner PartGmbB, structural engineers, Cottbus
Building physics – building and room acoustics Peutz bv, Mook, The Netherlands, ADA Acoustic Design Ahnert, Prof. Dr.-Ing. habil. W. Ahnert, Berlin
Fire protection hhpberlin Ingenieure für Brandschutz GmbH, Berlin
Stage technology theapro, theater projekte daberto + kollegen planungsgesellschaft mbh, Munich
Services engineering Planungsgruppe M+M AG, Dresden (up to design phase 3) Consortium of IB
Rathenow BPS and Solares Bauen GmbH (from design phase 5)
Lighting design Conceptlicht GmbH, Traunreut
Client KID Kommunales Immobilienmanagement Dresden GmbH & Co KG
Construction period 2013–2017
GFA 37,062 m²
Concert hall, Dresdner Philharmonie 1,750 seats, incl. 18 wheelchair places
Cabaret hall, “Die Herkuleskeule” 240 seats, incl. 2 wheelchair places
Central library 5,463 m²



Christian Gahl / gmp Architekten

The conversion and refurbishment of the Dresden Kulturpalast, which dates from 1969, also included the new construction of a concert hall for an audience of 1,800 at the core of the existing building, the structure of which was retained in accordance with the principles of the preservation of historic buildings. The original building substance was carefully reconstructed and integrated in the new design, while the facades were upgraded to current energy conservation standards.

The main users of the Palace are the Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra, the City’s central library, and the "Herkuleskeule" cabaret, which together have created a new combination of culture, education, and entertainment; the large foyer to the south provides shared access to all three functions. The cabaret venue is located beneath the concert hall which, in the two upper stories, is snuggly surrounded by the rooms of the library. The red color of the textile surfaces has been adopted from the original Palace, and has been replicated as a leitmotif throughout the building.

The architecture of the concert hall follows the "vineyard" model, with terraced seating that fits with the geometry of the hexagonal arrangement of the available space. The terraces and the walls, right up to the hall ceiling, have been designed to a uniform architectural principle, including the elevation of the concert organ. Acoustically, the hall supports the traditionally darker sound of the Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra and, at the same time, makes it possible for the venue to be used for other forms of events.

With this new Kulturpalast concept, Dresden now boasts a concert hall of international standing in a conceptually open venue of culture and knowledge which, as a place of civic encounters and communication, continues the lively tradition of the building.