Gasteig Cultural Center
After 30 years of intensive use, the Gasteig cultural centre in Munich is to undergo renovation and remodelling. With around two million visitors annually, the Gasteig is the largest cultural centre in Europe.
The core design idea is a broad transparent ribbon that extends along the entire length of the architectural volume, opening the Gasteig up to the city and forming a contrast to the monolithic and mineral-like character of the existing building. Acting like a glazed bridge, the ribbon – the so-called “Kulturbühne” (Cultural Stage) – connects the existing building parts, extending both horizontally and vertically through all the sections of the Gasteig. The Cultural Stage functions simultaneously as a circulation node, foyer, exhibition space and an event area. Regardless of its use, the Cultural Stage gives each element its own individual identity, be it the Philharmonic, the Carl Orff Auditorium, the library or the adult education centre.
In urban planning terms, the isolation of the Gasteig is countered by means of an inviting flight of steps. Once inside, two wide staircases, which are partly formed as seating podiums, lead up to the first upper storey – the centrepiece of the Cultural Stage. This is where all of the foyers to the large auditoria are located, together with the accompanying catering and bar areas, as well as the exhibition and event spaces.
The Philharmonic is to be refurbished using minimal constructional procedures, thus ensuring a completely optimal acoustic and spatial experience. The multifunctional Carl Orff Auditorium is designed to become the most flexible space in the Gasteig. The layout of the library transforms it into an open reading and studying landscape. The adult education centre is housed in the middle of the Cultural Stage along the east-to-west thoroughfare, where its information and advice areas are located. On the top upper floor is the new Ausblick restaurant, forming the vertical conclusion of the Gasteig. In summer the floor-to-ceiling glass facade slides open, making the interior space into a terrace.
The modernisation of the Gasteig is planned to commence in late 2020/early 2021 and is scheduled to last five years.