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The theatre as an intangible cultural heritage, whether it is visible and recognisable as such by the building typology or not, is taught as a value and thus strengthens the creative economy and the cultural and tourism sector.Wesko Rohde, Chairman of the German Theatre Society
  • About the project
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    The European Cultural Heritage Year pays special attention to the development of the European city. The history of the theatrical landscape has also been and continues to be a defining feature of European urban development. Theatres were created in the most representative places of the cities, they reflect the concept of glamorous contemporary architecture and cultural functionality in a special way. Theatres have always achieved and continue to achieve a high degree of identification in the urban fabric. As a component of urban space, theatre culture channels an important part of spatial and social interaction in the superposition of very different and diverse phenomena. It becomes clear how the theatres actively influence the public space. The German theatre and orchestral landscape is characterised by a diversity of artistic forms of expression that is unique in the world, which are realised in drama, figure theatre, opera, operetta, musicals, dance, concerts and performative events of various kinds.
  • background
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    The diversity developed from the small state constitution of Germany in the 17th and 18th centuries. After the Second World War, theatres were among the first reopened cultural venues, some of which spent tickets in exchange for coal to run the heating system, and today they have to fight everywhere for their right to exist. People's desire for culture and theatre in times of barbarism was monstrous and existential. Cultural buildings as meeting places in the young democracy were an expression of the reawakened basic needs and let people flow into the theatres. To this day, this has lost nothing of its attractiveness. Even today, the number of spectators is growing steadily and the cultural and creative industries are one of the most expansive economic sectors in modern Germany. More than 30 million people visit the more than 65,000 theatre performances held annually.
  • task
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    Theatrical buildings being inherited need innovation and openness, both culturally and politically. The planners and architects must be given the opportunity to view these special buildings of the last centuries from new points of view, which possibly cannot be sufficiently described with a post-war building code and general standards. A new approach is necessary for the unique world cultural heritage landscape of the theatres if the cultural-historical significance of the buildings is to be preserved.
    In order to maintain the historical location in the urban structure as the result of an iterative dialogue, Logistical restrictions and cramped conditions are often accepted in the iterative dialogue in order to maintain the historical location in the urban structure.
    Transformation processes in old buildings are thus almost more difficult than the construction of a new theatre. This is a challenge to creativity when the existing object is expanded at the old sites and adapted to the spatial and functional requirements of a modern cultural industry.
    The theatre as immaterial cultural heritage, whether it is visible and recognizable as such by the building typology or not, is didactically conveyed as a value and thus strengthens the creative economy and the cultural and tourism sector.
  • Project: Guidelines for construction and renovation
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    Buildings for the performing arts are very specialized buildings. However, this does not only apply to buildings that were and are primarily built as theatres. Existing buildings, such as former industrial buildings, are now being reused. This approach to "found spaces" aims to capture the atmosphere, although these spaces lack the technical infrastructure of a theatre. In recent years in particular, so many new venues have been created in which the character of the original building contributes significantly to the special concept and creates a feeling of continuity with the past.
    The discussion about what theatre should represent today and in the future thus also reflects the use of architectural and spatial concepts of existing older buildings, they must be able to adapt to the process of constant change in order to remain technically usable.

  • founding
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    The project is funded by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media.
    Project period: 1.9.2018 - 31.8.2019
  • partner
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  • timeline