Komische Oper

Metamorphosis building -
How to retain diversity but create unity!

Typology Cultural venue Location Berlin Constructed volume New building GFA approx. 13,200 m², GIV approx. 62,600 m³ Existing building GFA 30,250 m², GIV 145,450 m³ Competition committee Federal State Berlin represented by the Senate Department for Urban Development and Housing Fund provider Senate Administration for Culture and Europe Occupant Foundation Opera in Berlin Completion exp. 2023-2029 Competition 1st Prize – 2020 with subsequent negotiated procedure Awards Shortlist WAF Visualisation Prize 2023


#Refurbishment and extension of the venue Komische Oper in Berlin-Mitte

The new differentiated structure with its small-scale volumes and the variety of balconies, loggias and planted roof terraces leads to a heterogeneous appearance reflecting the diversity of the interior. The result is a distinctive design that displays the warm, open and inviting character of the Komische Oper on the outside.

Conversion and extension of the Komische Oper, Berlin (DE) The Komische Oper is a venue for musical theatre in Berlin Mitte, between Unter den Linden and Behrensstraße, in immediate vicinity of Pariser Platz and Brandenburger Tor. The slightly timeworn complex, incorporating a variety of listed structures completed at numerous periods between 1890 and 1980, is being remodelled and refurbished; different strata of time, narrating the history of the building, are being retained and some even revealed. The new build on Glinkastraße uses a range of small-format elements to complement the venue’s various functional areas and optimise the organisational processes. The facades are a conglomeration of different elements and materials – similar to a stage set – that have been developed from the style mix of the existing facades. Structured surfaces made of stone, steel, ceramic and metal in a variety of champagne and red hues depict the four different functional areas of the new build on the outside. Glass facades enclose the zones on the ground floor that are designed to appeal to the general public, such as the ticket office, the entrances, the café and casino. The stacked arrangement of the individual elements, with projecting and recessed sections, generates balconies, loggias and planted roof terraces.

The venue Komische Oper is an important part of Berlin’s cultural landscape located in the historical centre of Berlin Mitte between the streets Unter den Linden and Behrenstraße.

The Komische Oper is oganised in four functional strips from north to south, which are incorporated in the extension and depicted on the exterior by the structured base. The functional links between the new and old building allow for short distances and easy access.

“The design is like a chameleon, a cultural metamorphosis, a building of diversity and innovation. It enters into a dialogue with the history of the Komische Oper Berlin and enables the three centuries to flow freely like counterpoints…”

Barrie Kosky, Chief Director

The café on the top floor includes a public roof terrace with a fantastic view of the boulevard Unter den Linden.

western elevation

The plasticity of the facades made of stone, steel, ceramics and expanded metal mesh in a variety of champagne and red hues underlines the sculptural appearance of the new building.

“Our aim was to structure the large volume into smaller elements to give the building a more human scale. Thus, the new building consists of small-scale boxes with different facade designs. The selection of materials was extracted from special features identified in the existing structure, such as the sandstone facade with copper-framed window elements, and applied to the shapes and colours of the new building.”

Kilian Kada

October 30th, 2020
Facing the future

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