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The Making of Gasteig HP8: A Visual Retrospective

Construction work on the Gasteig HP8, our interim premises in Sendling, began in 2019. In 2022, the entire Gasteig with all its institutes moved to its new location, which we have already come to love. On the first anniversary of the Isarphilharmonie, which was inaugurated with a grand ceremony on 8 October 2021, we look back on its creation.

Deep drilling is being carried out next to the listed industrial hall to build the foundation for the new Isar Philharmonic Hall.
October 2019: Drilling holes for foundation piles. The Isarphilharmonie is firmly rooted to the ground with sturdy, stilt-like piles that are bored deep into the ground. Copyright: Robert Haas/Gasteig

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!

Das Areal des künftigen Gasteig HP8 aus der Vogelperspektive, Stand 2018. Zu sehen ist das Heizkraftwerk, die denkmalgeschützte Halle E und der angrenzende Stadtbach.
The site before construction began. This aerial view of Sendling was taken in 2018. The site of the new Isarphilharmonie formerly served as a car park. Copyright: Dr. Stefan Satzl
A rainbow can be seen next to Hall E, a listed building; in the foreground, fragments of the ground are piling up in preparation for the new Isar Philharmonic Hall.
Breaking ground in Sendling: The old concrete makes way for the new Isarphilharmonie. Copyright: Kathrin Bild/Gasteig

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.

The interior of the listed Hall E is also completely scaffolded for the refurbishment.
The listed Hall E is still fully shrouded in scaffolding here, during its conversion into the hub of the new arts centre. Copyright: Benedikt Feiten/Gasteig
The listed Hall E is getting new roof beams. Some wooden beams are ready for the renovation work.
Towards the end of 2019, the roof beams of Hall E are being made fit for the future in close coordination with the listed buildings conservation authorities. Copyright: Thomas Zimmermann/Gasteig
Ein Bauarbeiter steht auf dem Dach der Halle E und empfängt ein Dach-Element, das via Kran durch die Luft transportiert wird.
Replacing the roof of Hall E. Copyright: Kathrin Metzner/Gasteig

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.

Robust steel girders are assembled and later form the load-bearing frame for the Isarphilharmonie.
These rugged steel girders form the load-bearing frame for the Isarphilharmonie. Copyright: Gérard Pleynet/Gasteig
Next to Hall E, the facade of the Isar Philharmonic Hall is being built. A scaffolded part of the shell and cranes can be seen.
It’s 2020 and the shell of the Isarphilharmonie is growing skywards. Copyright: Gérard Pleynet/Gasteig
Hall E and the shell of the Isarphilharmonie are completely scaffolded. In the foreground is a steel girder for the new concert hall.
Like in a monumental composition, countless steps, big and small, must be well considered and coordinated. Copyright: Gérard Pleynet/Gasteig
Site meeting at Gasteig HP8: Site manager Andreas Schmidt and Gasteig boss Max Wagner inspect the construction site, holding the construction plan in their hands together.
Site manager Andreas Schmidt (left) with Gasteig managing director Max Wagner on a site visit Copyright: Robert Haas/Gasteig

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.

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15.10.2020: Topping-out ceremony at the new cultural powerhouse

“We want to turn Gasteig Sendling into a cultural powerhouse. Today we have reached an important milestone along this path.”

Gasteig Managing Director Max Wagner

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.

Fassaden der nebeneinander liegenden Isarphilharmonie und Halle E: Das elegante Anthrazit des Konzertsaals und der rote Backstein der Halle passen gut zusammen.
Perfectly colour-matched: the elegant anthracite of the concert hall next to the red brick of Hall E. Copyright: HGEsch/Gasteig
Die neue Isarphilharmonie wird innen ausgebaut. Erste Holzwände sind zu sehen, in der Mitte steht ein Kran.
The interior of the new Isarphilharmonie starts to take shape, as the modular wooden walls are assembled. Copyright: Gérard Pleynet/Gasteig

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.

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Time lapse video of the creation of the Isarphilharmonie

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.

“A sensational project, not least because it was planned and built within such a short time. For me, Gasteig HP8 and the Isarphilharmonie are the perfect blueprint for cultural buildings of the future.”

Dieter Reiter, Mayor of Munich in his speech at the inauguration of the Isarphilharmonie
Dark concert hall, heads from behind, on the illuminated stage the orchestra musicians, the choir behind them elevated on the choir balcony
The Munich Philharmonic plays the first concert in the new hall: everyone is taken by the new Isarphilharmonie. Copyright: Tobias Hase
Feierlicher Empfang zur Eröffnung der Isarphilharmonie in der Halle E. Gäste flanieren über den roten Teppich.
Red carpet and champagne at the grand opening: Guests celebrate this special premiere in the ambience of Hall E. Copyright: Tobias Hase

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.

Aerial view of the Gasteig HP8 at dusk
Clearly visible from above: The Isarphilharmonie and Hall E form the heart of Gasteig HP8. Next to them, further modular buildings are being erected, so that the entire Gasteig can take up residence there. Copyright: HGEsch
  • November 2021: The Munich Public 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.
Modern shelves made of recyclable material invite you to browse in the city library in HP8
The view goes out of GAiA Deli & News into Hall E. You can see finger food on the counter and service staff at work.
Warmly lit Hall E, a woman looks over the counter at the people in the hall. She has a glass of Aperol Spitz in her hand.

“The Gasteig HP8 will become an icon.”

Max Wagner, Managing Director of Gasteig München GmbH