PROJECT: Konzerthaus

The city of Dortmund built a high end concerthall relatively inexpensively in a weak neighbourhood called Brückstrass in order to make the region, the city and the neighbourhoud more attractive by establishing high class culture.

Initial Situation

  • Coal, steel and beer has guaranteed economic prosperity beyond the middle of the past century in the eastern Ruhr area.
  • In recent years, the former ‘Steel City’ has developed into a modern and cosmopolitan metropolis.
  • As a result of rival gangs, raids and high shop vacancy rates in the Brückstrasse, the city of Dortmund wanted to refresh the dilapidated neighbourhood.


  • An improvement in retail opportunities and a reduction in vacancy rates in the area.
  • Attract companies from gastronomy, nightlife and popular cultures.
  • Create a cultural program that will attract more than just the cultural elite. The hall’s artistic director, Benedict Stampa wanted to demonstrate that ‘the hall was built by the public for the public.’


  • Financed mostly by the community.
  • At a cost of 49 million, the hall was built relatively inexpensively. The final cost was only 58 % higher than the first estimations.
  • In addition to many benefit concerts and fundraisers, local cultural foundations donated equipment and materials, including a 53 register concert organ.
  • By establishing high class culture in the Ruhrgebiet, Wolfgang Clement, the prime minister of NRW, had at the beginning of the 90’s the idea to make Dortmund as a part of the Ruhrgebiet more attractive to higher educated inhabitants as a economic strategy.
  • The design of the ground floor , made entirely of glass, integrated the hall in the urban space. The large foyer of the house opens out to the intersection Brückstrasse/ Ludwigstrasse.
  • The play of colour on the glass facade comes into contact with passing pedestrians, conveying different moods depending on time of day, weather and concert program.
  • Within two seconds, the concert hall can achieve ideal reverberation time and with 40cm thick concrete walls, external disturbances are almost impossible.
  • On 1 February 1999, the old universe cinema was demolished to the ground.
  • On 16 October 2000, the first cornerstone was laid and in September 2002, The Konzerthaus Dortmund was opened.
  • The Konzerthaus was designed by Dortmund based architecture firm Schröder/ Schulte/ Ladbeck/ Strothmann.
  • Construction of the new facility generated considerable controversary as Germany was enduring a time of strained communal budgets.
  • The house is the new heart of the Brückstrasse, an urban artery with history. Brückstrasse is now an acute redevelopment area.
  • Due to its central location, the concert hall has become a powerful nucleus, giving resusitation to an entire district.
  • The concert hall has established itself as an important element in both Dortmund and Germany’s cultural scene with over 200 events per season.
  • After ten years, the concert hall was accepted as the youngest member of the european concert hall organization. (ECHO)
  • 2015 the Brückviertel is discribed as a living, creativ (mainly music based) neighbourhood, but has still a long way to go.


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Project info




1998 - 2002


Revitalization of Brückstraße




Culture & Projects Dortmund GmbH