Interim venue of the Stuttgart Opera

Restricted implementation competition 2023 Location: Stuttgart Client: ProWST | Partner: NL Architects Visualisation: Vivid Vision

Competition result
The joint design by a+r Architekten and NL Architects has won the Europe-wide competition for the interim venue of the Wurttemberg State Theatres. The temporary structure ensures that both the Staatsoper Stuttgart and the Stuttgart Ballet can continue to perform during the renovation of their current venue, the iconic Littmann Building.

Utilisation programme
The new complex includes the production areas (back of house) such as rehearsal rooms, workshops for stage designs, offices, storage spaces and more, spread across three city blocks. The roof of the opera house serves as the foundation for an innovative residential development: a village on the rooftop of the opera house. Production and housing are combined to create a place of community. Once the opera and ballet have returned to their original venue, the production facility will be repurposed as a Makers City. The project is also part of the International Building Exhibition IBA’27.

The urban planning concept is based on ecological and economical principles, with a focus on considering the future reuse of the interim opera building from the very beginning to avoid future demolition. Our goal is to preserve a maximum of the interim opera as a permanent structure. The principle is to achieve as much re-use and as little recycling as possible. The built structures allow a high degree of flexibility for various new commercial uses in the subsequent Makers City. Only the opera’s central features, such as the auditorium and stage, are designed in wood construction to allow future deconstruction. The structures that will be preserved are planned as a robust, CO2-reduced concrete skeleton. This is reflected in the façades: wooden façades in the auditorium area, the permanent structure of the opera venue with concrete columns and prefabricated, non-load-bearing wooden panel elements, and on top of that, the village again built in wood.

Starting point at Wagenhallenplatz
The new interim opera has a generously entrance area facing Wagenhallenplatz. The foyer extends across several levels. One notable feature is the event space on the top floor with attractive views of the surrounding area. The main façade pays respectful homage to the existing grand opera house in the city centre: The solid double pillars of the old opera house are incorporated as a motif in the new interim venue in the form of wooden double pillars.

Opera Boulevard
A clear and simple superordinate internal circulation connects all functional areas of the opera house. Orientation on the “opera boulevard” is very simple, intuitive and clear.

A village on the rooftop
Living in the countryside and yet in the city – the advantages of both options are combined. The interim opera venue is compactly organised on the three lower floors. On top of the opera house, a complete village is created, including a central village square. The vertical transition between the opera and the residential area is enhanced by an all-round belt of greenery.

An opera as a building kit
The supporting structure of the opera (auditorium and stage) is designed in timber construction. The focus is on creating a demountable framework that allows disassembly and reassembly in another city. The elements are designed in transportable dimensions.

Vertical park
Our future vision aims to cultivate a vertical park on the façade of Block 3 facing Wagenhallenplatz (after the dismantling of the wooden structures). A green and publicly accessible framework will elevate the square vertically. This vertical park will serve as a new connection between the village and the public space.