2019: Construction of the Gasteig begins …
Since 2019, there has been plenty to see at the Gasteig construction site in Sendling: Barracks and halls were demolished, pipes were laid and the listed Hall E was prepared for extensive renovation work. Before the site could become a home to the arts with the arrival of the Gasteig on 8 October 2021, numerous holes had to be drilled into the old foundations. So to our neighbours, who had to live with the penetrating noise from the building work, a big thank you for their patience and active interest in our site tours!
2020: A new chapter begins for Hall E
The former transformer hall of the Stadtwerke utility company had already seen a number of different uses: having served as a storage facility and later a car park for the adjacent workshops, it is now the central hub for art and education of Gasteig HP8.
For its latest transformation, the listed building was completely scaffolded inside and out to renovate it from the bottom up. In close consultation with the listed buildings conservation authorities, the façades, windows, glass ceiling and roof were renovated in stages, always with the aim of preserving Hall E’s unique character. To preserve its original appearance, for example, the industrial hall was re-roofed with tiles in three different shades of colour.
From shell construction to concert hall
Despite corona, the work progressed right on schedule: having cast the concrete foundations for the future Isarphilharmonie, the building’s shell quickly rose up from the ground. Large steel girders were delivered and assembled to form the rugged, load-bearing frame for the remaining building. The progress was evident at every successive site visit: Munich’s new concert hall was taking shape.
October 2020: Structural work is finished.
The structural work for the Isarphilharmonie was completed in mid-October 2020. As is customary on a building site, we held the traditional topping-out ceremony with a small team. The video below shows Munich’s mayor Dieter Reiter, deputy mayor Katrin Habenschaden and Gasteig Managing Director Max Wagner symbolically driving in the final nails as the ceremonial topping-out wreath is hoisted up to the roof.
Then, finally, the interior of the Isarphilharmonie started to take shape. Planned to accommodate nearly 2000 visitors, the concert hall was conceived by star acoustician Yasuhisa Toyota “like a violin in its case”, as a “building inside a building”, says Stephan Schütz, partner in architectural firm gmp – Gerkan, Marg und Partner, who were commissioned with the building. The concert hall is a modular timber construction, consisting of prefabricated solid wood elements that were inserted one by one into the supporting steel structure without any screws or nails. Like a composition, everything was planned down to the last detail to ensure that the new Isarphilharmonie would have the best possible acoustics – from sound-friendly seat covers to acoustic wall panelling. The softwood wall panelling is stained black for good reason: it firmly place the spotlight on the stage with its light-coloured cedar floor.
Colour-coordinated inside and out
“Orion sparkle” is what the colour of the Isarphilharmonie’s façade is called. It, too, was chosen in consultation with the listed buildings conservation authorities. Calm and elegant, the anthracite exterior of the new, modern concert hall harmonises perfectly with the concrete and red brick of Hall E. The two buildings, old and new, are to form an attractive ensemble at the core of the new arts centre. As a venue with flair, the Gasteig HP8 aims to attract visitors from all over the world.
8 October 2012: Isarphilharmonie and Gasteig HP8 celebrate opening
After successful acoustic testing, in which especially the warm, clear and intimate sound of the new concert hall received ample praise, we opened Munich’s Isarphilharmonie to the public on Friday, 8 October 2021. The first gala concert by the Munich Philharmonic in its new home venue with star pianist Daniil Trifonov was a moving event for everyone involved, both in front of and behind the scenes. News of the event even made it across the Atlantic, where the New York Times reported on the inauguration concert.
Together into the future: Gasteig HP8 grows …
While events are already taking place in the Isarphilharmonie and in Hall X, work on the remaining premises continues. After the grand opening, other buildings and functions follow in quick succession.
- November 2021: The Munich City Library opens as an “open library” in Hall E. Spread over several floors, the library is open daily from 7 AM to 11 PM and offers space for learning, reading, working and browsing.
- January 2022: The University of Music and Performing Arts Munich presents itself in its new premises with a weekend of celebration. The beginning of the 2022 winter semester sees the students moving into HP8 to use the many new practice and teaching rooms for jazz, cultural management, folk music, brass instruments and more in the new, modular Buildings G and K.
- May 2022: The new GAiA restaurant in the Gasteig HP8 opens. Visitors can enjoy breakfast or a hot meal in Building K or on the adjoining outdoor terrace. Together with the GAiA Deli & News Reading Café and the GAiA Bar in Hall E, the restaurant completes the hospitality offerings in HP8.
- July 2022: The Munich Chamber Orchestra (MKO) celebrates its debut concerts at the Isarphilharmonie and invites friends from the HP8 neighbourhood as well as the Jazzrausch Bigband on stage. As our new partner, the MKO represents a valued addition to the Gasteig institutes’ joint cultural education programme.
- 6 to 9 October 2022: Join in and get active! The Münchner Volkshochschule adult education centre celebrates its move to HP8 with a grand opening programme, featuring free workshops, guided tours, dance karaoke and much more. Everyone can join in and explore the new location of the adult education centre in Building K.
Text: Maria Zimmerer