Düsseldorf Schauspielhaus

Düsseldorf, Germany

Düsseldorf Schauspielhaus ©2013 ingenhoven architects / HGEsch
Düsseldorf Schauspielhaus ©2013 ingenhoven architects / HGEsch

Built in 1970 according to the plans of Bernhard Pfau, the Schauspielhaus, together with the neighbouring Dreischeibenhaus, forms one of the most important ensembles of post-war architecture. The architectural icon has now been renovated by ingenhoven architects.

Project Overlook ©2013 ingenhoven architects / HGEsch
Project Overlook ©2013 ingenhoven architects / HGEsch

The focus was on the sensitive handling of the architectural heritage. The listed building fabric was adapted to the current state of the art. The façade and roof, the latter now covered with greenery, were renovated, as were the areas relevant to the public, including lighting and furnishings. Contemporary additions are elegantly restrained in matt black. Designer Petra Blaisse has created characterful curtains for the wall coverings.

Entrance view ©2013 ingenhoven architects / HGEsch
Entrance view ©2013 ingenhoven architects / HGEsch

The biggest structural change lies in the new conception of the main entrance, the interweaving of the Schauspielhaus and the city. While in Pfau’s original design the main entrance was located at the Hofgarten, he moved it to the square side under the influence of the head of the building department, but without redesigning the internal infrastructure. Now the subsequently added ticket booth has been demolished and replaced by an airy glass pavilion on Gustaf-Gründgens-Platz. A new glass vestibule reorganises the main entrance. The bronzed glass in the foyer was replaced by clear glass and allows the view to wander far through the building to the courtyard garden with its magnolias.

Partial view ©2013 ingenhoven architects / HGEsch
Partial view ©2013 ingenhoven architects / HGEsch

Building history

Partial view ©2020 ingenhoven architects / HGEsch
Partial view ©2020 ingenhoven architects / HGEsch

The Düsseldorf Schauspielhaus theater was founded in 1904 by Louise Dumont and Gustav Lindemann as a private theater with an associated acting school, and soon became one of the leading theaters of the German Empire and, later, of the Weimar Republic.

Material comparison ©2020 ingenhoven architects / HGEsch
Material comparison ©2020 ingenhoven architects / HGEsch

During the Second World War, the theater building—which had been designed by Bernhard Sehring in 1905—was completely destroyed; in 1951, the theater was re-established in what at the time was called the Operettenhaus (operetta house) as an independent institution of the City of Düsseldorf.

Entrance view ©2020 ingenhoven architects / HGEsch
Entrance view ©2020 ingenhoven architects / HGEsch

Gustaf Gründgens was in charge as general manager; he was one of the best-known students of Dumont and Lindemann before the war.

Interior gallery ©2021 ingenhoven architects / HGEsch
Interior gallery ©2021 ingenhoven architects / HGEsch

Over many years, the Schauspielhaus theater rose to become one of the most important German-speaking stages in Europe and also retained this position for a long time under Gründgens’ successor, Karl-Heinz Stroux.

 Interior hobby ©2020 ingenhoven architects / HGEsch
Interior hobby ©2020 ingenhoven architects / HGEsch
 Interior hobby ©2021 ingenhoven architects / HGEsch
Interior hobby ©2021 ingenhoven architects / HGEsch

This is evident from the numerous invitations to the annual Berlin theater meeting which, until the fall of the wall in 1989, was always considered to be the most important cultural event in the world of theater in the Federal Republic.

Well-known actors and directors who dominated the post-war era were under contract here, including Elisabeth Bergner, Paula Wessely, Maria Wimmer, Ernst Deutsch, Fritz Kortner, and Bernhard Minetti; Wolfgang Langhoff moved from Düsseldorf to Berlin in order to found the Langhoff theater dynasty.

 Interior hobby ©2020 ingenhoven architects / HGEsch
Interior hobby ©2020 ingenhoven architects / HGEsch

The regional, national, and European success of the establishment led, from 1965, to the design of the new building, for which Bernhard Pfau was commissioned after succeeding in several stages of the competition.

Interior view ©2020 ingenhoven architects / HGEsch
Interior view ©2020 ingenhoven architects / HGEsch

Project drawings

Ground floor ©2020 ingenhoven architects
Ground floor ©2020 ingenhoven architects
East elevation ©2020 ingenhoven architects
East elevation ©2020 ingenhoven architects
South elevation ©2020 ingenhoven architects
South elevation ©2020 ingenhoven architects
Section ©2020 ingenhoven architects
Section ©2020 ingenhoven architects
North elevation ©2020 ingenhoven architects
North elevation ©2020 ingenhoven architects

Project information

ProjectDüsseldorfer Schauspielhaus
LocationDüsseldorf, Deutschland
Building taskRefurbishment
CompletionOctober 2020
GFA19.000 m²
Clientrefurbishment roof and facade State Capital Düsseldorf
refurbishment public areas Neue Schauspiel GmbH
Architectingenhoven architects
Interior designrefurbishment public areas ingenhoven architects
General planneringenhoven architects
Team ingenhoven architectsChristoph Ingenhoven, Oliver Ingenhoven, Max Grams, Veronika Przybyla, Vincent Jeanson, Anette Büsing, Dariusz Szczygielski, Ursula Koeker, Ulrich Hochgürtel
Project managementrefurbishment roof and facade Hahlhege Gesellschaft für Projektsteuerung & Controlling mbH
refurbishment public areas G + N Consult Baumanagement GmbH
Structural designrefurbishment roof and facade Werner Sobek AG
refurbishment public areas VDS Statik und konstruktiver Ingenieurbau
Technical Building ServicesHTW – Hetzel, Tor-Westen + Partner Ingenieurgesellschaft mbH & Co. KG
Fire protectionrefurbishment roof and facade and public areas IfBW Ingenieurbüro für Brandschutz Wuppertal GmbH
Building physicsrefurbishment roof and facade Werner Sobek AG
refurbishment public areas ISRW Dr.-Ing. Klapdor GmbH
Lighting designrefurbishment roof and facade and public areas Tropp Lighting Design GmbH
Colour analysis and consultingFarb-Bau Prof. Friedrich Schmuck
Photosingenhoven architects / HGEsch

Editing and translation: @Ibo, ©️FULLDES authorized publishing, copyright from the Author, Image copyright from the photographer or Company

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