Staatsoper Unter den Linden

Acoustical reconstruction of the opera house „Staatsoper Unter den Linden”
Berlin Senate Department for Urban Development and the Environment
HG Merz Architekten
HG Merz Architekten / ©Marcus Ebener / ©by alexander schippel

The reconstruction of the state opera house „Staatsoper Unter den Linden” (1741, Georg Wenzeslaus von Knobelsdorff) included improving the acoustics of the concert hall. First and foreground was the optimisation of the reverberation time. For this purpose the top floor ceiling was lifted by 5.0m. Creating additional space between the upper stands and the ceiling to fit a reverberation gallery comprising reflective and sound absorbing components. To form a visual space partition a mesh of fibre reinforced phosphate¬ ceramics with a dimension of 250 m² has been installed in front of the wall cladding. The mesh size varies according to the parametric geometry formation from approx. 20cm side length to the surface areas without recesses at the upper edge with diameters of 3.5cm. A CNC five-axes robot milled the shapes out of a dense foam. This is followed by casting the ceramic matrix reinforced with glass-fibres. The multiple centre curve geometry allows for a segmental prefabrication of identical components with max. dimensions of 3.5 x 4.0m.
Since material behavior and mechanical properties have not been investigated before extensive testing series and research was necessary and conducted in collaboration with the Institute for Building Structures and Design (ITKE), University Stuttgart.