Culture and Congress Center / gmp architekten

  • 09 Jul 2012
  • Cultural Selected Works
© Marcus Bredt

Architects: gmp architekten
Location: ,
Design Team: Volkwin Marg, Hubert Nienhoff, Kristian Uthe-Spencker
Project Year: 2011
Photographs: Marcus Bredt

The theater — a plain, low-key theater structure from the 1960s — was built over the ruins of the original 1889 building destroyed in the Second World War. It has now been comprehensively refurbished. The careful interventions in the historic listed building focused on technical improvements, without impairing its 1960s’ architectural identity. Nevertheless, the internal installations and stage technology, like the stage lighting and sound systems, were completely renewed and updated.

© Marcus Bredt

In the new, additional building, the architects have interpreted the postwar modernism of the 1960s in their own way, continuing the key stylistic features of the older building in the new building. These include the theater’s projecting, balcony-style external galleries at first-floor level, the large-scale glass facade of the foyer on the ground floor, and the cubic composition with the incapsulated drum of the auditorium.

© Marcus Bredt

The old building’s key concept of a circular hall integrated in a cube is picked up in the new structure and further elaborated. In both buildings, therefore, the principal rooms have both inward and outward aspects. In the theater, the integrated rotunda of the auditorium comes across as a closed room, with the foyer round it being open to the outside. In the Culture and Conference Center, the hall with a square ground plan is within the circular foyer. Internally, the cubic hall is enclosed in curved walls, while outside it stands out at roof level as a square with a glazed clerestory. The curved shape of the new building sweeps round towards the old building, and this feature together with the projecting gallery edges make them into an ensemble.


The ‘Wormser’ is equipped for events of all kinds, which can be put on together or, alternatively, separately but simultaneously. The new chamber for up to 800 people can be partitioned and used in many different ways. It is backed up by a foyer, catering facilities, exhibition areas and flexible conference rooms. The Culture and Conference Center complex together with its delivery area and underground garage are laid out for functional and structural completion by a future hotel directly alongside.

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Cite: "Culture and Congress Center / gmp architekten" 09 Jul 2012. ArchDaily. Accessed 23 May 2015. <>