On 3rd January 2005 the new Hamburg State Opera operations building was officially taken into service. After three and a half years of construction, a shining vision that the State Opera management team had been working on with serious commitment for years became reality. At a price tag of €37 million the new operations building represents the largest investment made in recent times by the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg in the cultural sector.
„The shell of the
operations building on the corner of Gustav-Mahler-Platz and
Büschstrasse was erected by Sprinkenhof AG to a design by Hamburg firm
of architects Schmitz Münzesheimer Lück. The building houses businesses
The design for the new opera operations building is from Hamburg Architects Kleffel Köhnholdt and Partners and meets the planning requirement parameters for buildings within the Hamburg inner city as well as the requirements of a theatre company.
The building extension sticks to the old ground-plan, extending to the boundaries of Kalkhof and Kleine Theaterstrasse. In designing the facade the architects concentrated on transparency and distinct structures, the intention being to reflect the functionality of the building here, too.
This new building has markedly improved production procedures and working conditions at the Hamburg State Opera. Three large rehearsal stages, one orchestra rehearsal hall for the Philharmonische Staatsorchester, one chorus rehearsal hall, and one ballet rehearsal hall plus numerous offices and recreation rooms have all been created on an area of 8,500 square metres. The upper floors house the workshops, including the costume makers, the makeup artists, the armourers and hat makers. The basement provides space for storage facilities and, in addition, small carpentry and fitters’ workshops for making repairs during ongoing operations have been accommodated near to the central goods lift. The new building means far less transporting of scenery etc., because items for use over a 10 to 14 day period can now be stored in prefabricated storage units. The new, fully retractable turntable trolley is state-of-the-art and provides more flexibility in stage set design as well as faster set changes.
Completion of the new operations building has also meant the return of “Opera stabile”, the State Opera’s favourite studio stage. It makes possible the staging of many different events – experimental music theatre, evening song recitals and debates, and even private-function school events. The public entrance to the “Opera stabile” has been transferred from Büschstrasse to the corner of Kleine Theaterstrasse/Kalkhof.
20th July 2001
Building work commenced
August - October 2001
Former operations building stripped and demolished
from October 2001 onwards
Excavations and foundations
Foundation stone laid and construction commenced
Summer break 2003
Back wall of main stage breached to connect the new operations building to the opera house
Completion and inauguration of new operations building