Team: Alessandro Peja · Daniel Monroy · Luigi Ettore Ricchioni
Year: 2019 - 2020
Kreuzberg is notoriously one of Berlin’s fastest developing districts, located near the historic Museum Island along the Spree River, and embedded in the industrial heritage of the place. Designing a theatre in this site should not only mean an urban renovation for Kreuzberg, but also creating a redefining agent of contemporary theatrical culture in Berlin.
Territorial place. A big area of historic Berlin can be understood as an island within the Spree Basin, thus making Museum Island an “island within an island”. To build on the river’s bank means then taking a larger scale into consideration, where monumental constructions and open spaces have defined Berlin’s waterfront morphology in the past.
Urban Place. An urban axis appears as we get closer to the site. It includes a characteristic sequence of urban spaces defined by historical churches, open green spaces, the U-Bahn’s line and certainly the Spree’s course. It also depicts a loose urban fabric which holds these sequences together along the axis.
Urban Form. Amongst this quite fragmented morphological structure, the Theatre establishes a primary form in the intersection between Michaelkirchstrasse and the Spree River, whereas the Academy integrates a topographic form to better shape the urban block and articulates the project to the preexisting structure.
Spatial Sequence. A plinth rises the public space from ground level, to create an elevated urban loggia that gazes onto the river and introduces the main access. Once inside, a set of staircases bridges the lower hall with the theatre’s foyer. This entrance gallery surrounds the entire theatre box creating another loggia, which connects the theatrical space inside with the city’s view outwards.
Configurations. Within, the main theatre adopts different shapes depending on the spatial needs of the ongoing mise en scène. This is possible by virtue of the modulated lift system under the theatre platform and the modular fly tower, which sits anchored to the peripheral trusses that make up the main volume.
The project’s materiality expresses the activities that take place inside. Concrete faces the public space, while steel trusses hold the elevated box that contains the theater’s gallery and a wooden volume encloses the void which adjusts accordingly to the performance, thus making texture play a key role in defining the spatial vocation.
Politecnico di Milano
Course / Thematic Studio
Professors / Stefan Vieths · Paolo Debiaggi · Viola Bertini
With / Giulia Rossi · Diletta Trinari