A Look into the Future:

Renovation and Expansion Starting in 2023

On the Way to Becoming an Opera House of the 21st century

The need for the renovation of the Komische Oper Berlin was identified as early as the late 1990s. The current buildings were constructed in 1892, and received a comprehensive renovation in 1967. Since then, no fundamental renovation of the buildings has been carried out. Since 2018, when the ceiling of the auditorium had to be provisionally secured with netting due to falling pieces of stucco, it’s been clear that the need for renovation can no longer be denied. Starting in summer 2023, the Komische Oper Berlin will be extensively renovated, modernized and expanded. In addition to bringing the opera house into a contemporary structural condition with modern theater and building technology, a new building with a roof terrace, store, café, new offices and rehearsal rooms will be constructed. The intention is to provide additional, urgently needed space for cultural education and outreach work, and for the Komische Oper Berlin to unveil itself to the city and its communities as a 21st century opera house, creating a space of encounter, one for all.

What has been happening on Behrenstraße...
A look into the future also requires a look into the past. The film shows the eventful and moving history of the opera house. From the Metropoltheater of 1882 to the Komische Oper Berlin of today, with a perspective on the opera house of the 21st century. Creating a place of encounter for the city and its communities.

Renovation
© kadawittfeldarchitektur
Opera house of the year

FAQ

Questions and answers about the renovation and expansion of the Komische Oper Berlin

Why is the Komische Oper Berlin being renovated at all?

The need for the renovation of the Komische Oper Berlin was identified as early as the late 1990s. The current buildings were established during the construction period in 1892, and received a comprehensive renovation in 1966/67. A fundamental renovation of the buildings has not taken place since then.

Ever since 2018, when the ceiling of the auditorium had to be provisionally secured with a net due to falling stucco parts, it’s been clear that the urgent need for renovation can no longer be denied. A regularly overloaded power grid, rusted-through water pipes and the badly aging analog stage technology are just as much evidence of this as the outdated rehearsal rooms and the lack of space for outreach and youth work, which has become increasingly important in recent years. Not only are the building and stage equipment being completely renovated, but new, inviting buildings are being constructed along Glinkastrasse and towards the magnificent boulevard Unter den Linden. This will architecturally open up the Komische Oper Berlin to the city, in keeping with its motto as an “Opera for All”.

When will the Komische Oper Berlin move out of Behrenstraße?

The move will take place at the end of the 2022/23 season; In other words, starting in summer 2023.

What will happen to the beautiful auditorium?

The design of the auditorium has been largely preserved since 1892. Although the opera house was destroyed during the Second World War, the hall remained almost intact. Parts of this uniquely preserved auditorium need to be repaired and secured. In doing so, it is important to preserve its unmistakable charm!

Where does the Komische Oper Berlin perform during the construction period?

The Komische Oper Berlin is moving its rehearsal and performance operations to Charlottenburg’s Schillertheater. As early as the 2022/23 season, large and small productions will be performed at various venues throughout the city.

During the renovation phase, the Komische Oper Berlin will not settle in a single location, but will appear in various venues in the city. The move out of the main building thus offers the unique opportunity to experience musical theater in a completely new way.

What will the renovation cost?

The cost framework defined in the requirements program of 2017 is currently being reviewed and adjusted to the findings of the preliminary planning phase (VPU). With the submission of the VPU, more concrete statements can be made about the cost framework. .

The result will be available at the end of the year. The submitted cost estimate for the construction project is 437.4 million Euros. Of this, 116.1 million Euros alone are due to the increase in the so-called construction cost index. As a preventive measure, 52.6 million Euros have been included for contingency and risk items. 94.3 million Euros result from the more specific planning process in dealing with energy requirements, as well as from foundational and existing structures.

How long will the renovation and expansion take?

In the requirements program, which was prepared in 2017, it was assumed that construction would take about six years. This will be reviewed in the course of preparing the VPU.

The decisive factor will be when construction can actually begin, and when the preparatory measures for construction will be completed. After the Komische Oper has moved out of its main building on Behrenstrasse in the summer of 2023, the preparatory measures for construction, such as setting up the construction site, demolishing parts of the building and removing pollutants, are to commence so that the actual construction work can then begin.