Staging a Temporary Theater
  • Location
  • Project
    New construction of an interim venue for the Württembergische Staatstheater Stuttgart
  • Procedure
    Architectural design competition
  • Awarding authority
    City of Stuttgart, Department of Economics, Finance and Investments, Real Estate Office
  • Architect of record
    Caspar Schmitz-Morkramer
  • Structural engineering
    Knippers Helbig
  • Technical building equipment, energy concept
    IB Hausladen
  • Fire protection
    hhp Berlin
  • Landscape architecture
  • Room acoustics
    Nagata Acoustics
  • Stage equipment
    Susanne Lehmann
  • Gross floor area
    47,099 m²
  • Visualizations
    moka-studio / caspar.rau

As the Württemberg State Theater Stuttgart undergoes renovations and expansions, it requires an interim location, which will be situated on the C1 site near the Wagenhallen. This relocation coincides with the International Building Exhibition (IBA) 27, where Maker City, a mixed-use, experimental urban quarter, is being developed. In 2023, the city of Stuttgart initiated a competition to design a sustainable urban block that combines living and working spaces. This new building, intended to host the Württembergisches Staatstheater Stuttgart for the first 10 years, is a project we have named “Tempora.” Working alongside RAU architects, we reimagined the democratic concert hall type, inspired by Scharoun’s Weinberg architecture, by turning its structure inside out. Our design reimagines the traditional stepped structure of the vineyard into a cascade of visitor terraces, which we envision as an integral part of an ecologically and socially responsible urban development in the wine-growing region of Baden-Württemberg. Many components can be dismantled After the theater’s interim use concludes in 2037, many components of the building can be dismantled and sustainably integrated into the Maker City for reuse.

Building as a resource

We reimagined the block layout set out in the masterplan of the Maker City into small-scale rhythmic clusters with inner courtyards, passageways, and a green terrace landscape. This design fosters the formation of neighborhoods both during and after the theater’s interim use. Central to the temporary theater setup is the auditorium, stage, and stage tower – a steel structure that is bolted rather than welded, whose components can be completely dismantled and reused. The foyer is a demountable and modular structure made of wood, which the timber constructor will reclaim after use; the same applies to the glass facade. Many components are designed for direct onsite reuse. Special rooms, such as the orchestra rehearsal hall, ballet halls, and workshop, offer a wide range of options for subsequent use and are posed to become focal points in Maker City. The Tempora open space also supports urban biodiversity and integration with the local ecosystem, aligning with the landscape vision of the master plan for the future district. Features such as a green network, green facades, planted outdoor staircases, and tree islands are incorporated throughout all levels of the building ensemble.

Experience theater in a new way

Both the acoustics and spatial perception play a crucial role in enhancing the opera and theater experience. Our approach seeks a balance between the rich quality of this experience and the practical needs of a temporary venue, opting for a more complex design that prioritizes the audience experience. The room geometry, for example, provides excellent acoustic quality and visual intimacy The design aims to strike a balance between clear sound and intelligibility, and a rich, sonorous auditory experience. Additionally, barrier-free seating is strategically placed throughout the hall to ensure that audience members with disabilities enjoy full access to all auditory and visual benefits. The Tempora’s temporary structures are clad in colored, recycled facade panels, and the foyer features a self-supporting curtain wall made of glass, partly integrating photovoltaic elements that double as sunshades. Tempora is poised to become the world’s first CO2-free theater, entirely powered by hydrogen.

Project team
  • Johannes Feder
  • Gereon Berz
  • Jutta Göttlicher
  • Julian Kraemer
  • Philipp Meise
  • Joachim Otte
  • Jonas Ritgen
  • Esteban Serrano Castelló
  • Dennis Grootenboer
  • Nafeesa Hamza
  • Tobias Kumkar
  • Marta M Roy Torrecilla