Renovated Kraftwerk Mitte Dresden.

The Kraftwerk Mitte in Dresden was a coal-fired power station, founded in 1895 and greatly expanded in the 1920s by the city architect Paul Wolf. It was closed in 1994 after 99 years of operation. In 2016, a complete transformation of the main buildings and the demolition of the annex buildings was carried out and the site reopened as a cultural venue, used mainly for operatic, musical and theatrical performances. Today, it houses the State Opera Theatre, rehearsal rooms for the Dresden State Music Conservatory, the Heinrich Schütz school of Music in Dresden and, in what was once the former transformer hall, the Saxon site of the Heinrich Böll Foundation for Adult Political Education.

This idea was forward-looking: the Kraftwerk Mitte was developed into a space for culture, art and creativity. The Wilsdruffer Vorstadt, the gateway to Dresden’s city centre, is enriched by this attractive site. In recent years, this area has become a sought-after part of the city centre, where living, working and culture all coexist.

This former power stations hould provide the impetus for similar projects: unique industrial buildings being reused; brownfield sites revitalised. New, aesthetically sophisticated buildings which complement the listed heritage sites will be built to underline the creative character of the district. In principle, all the existing buildings will be preserved and the appearance of the former thermal power station will also be maintained. Impressive industrial monuments will be rehabilitated and this will lend the site its unique character.

Hans-Georg Lippert