Performance Center Alexanderhoehe

Client: City of Iserlohn

Program: Multifunctional hall

Size: 85,000 sq ft

Budget: 57 million Euro

Completion Date: September 8th 2011 competition

Built: Unbuilt

Material: Stainless steel panels, glass, wood

Architect: Herwig Baumgartner, Scott Uriu

Team: Nema Ashjaee, Perla Aguayo, Steven Sun, Rebecca Gilbert

Consultant: Architektur Maurer (executive architect), Schlaich, Bergermann and Partner (structural engineers), Transsolar (energy consultant)

Performance Center Alexanderhoehe
The Performing Arts Center Alexanderhoehe in Iserlohn, Germany was an invitation-only competition that challenged entrants to redesign Alexanderhoehe, a large inner-city park, and add a multifunctional performance hall to the existing Parktheater, which is a classic proscenium-type performance space located on the park’s north edge.

When situating the building on the site, it is important to redefine the urban relationship of Alexanderhoehe with the city center and to create a new gateway for the park. The proposal intends to position the structure as a landmark building for the city, particularly the region that is oriented towards its center, with the creation of a new pedestrian connection between the city center and the main train station. The design includes a large public space that forms the plinth for the new hall and not only serves as the main entrance plaza for the theaters, but also becomes a destination and main access point to the park beyond.

The Performing Arts Center itself consists of three different types of venues: a large hall, adaptable to a wide variety of performances, for about 1,400 people; a small auditorium; and a multifunctional hall that can be rented out for balls, banquets, and other functions. The new Performing Arts Center forms a synergy between the existing Parktheater and the new multifunctional hall by virtue of a single, efficient, shared access point for visitors to both. In order to achieve this aim without blocking the existing views from the theater to the city center, we designed the large hall to lift off of the ground, thereby creating a generous multilevel foyer space that connects all theaters with the entrance lobby.

This linkage space continues underneath the new large hall onto the plaza level and encompasses both the lobby and main entrances of both the old and new theaters. A central circulation element (a grand staircase) connects and provides access to the existing large hall on level five; to the existing Parktheater on level four; to the existing small theater and the small auditorium on level 2; and to the new multifunctional hall on the ground level, adjacent to the entrance lobby. The lobby space expands outside into a large plaza that is covered by the enclosure, floating above, of the large hall.