1) Cultural buil­dings: poten­tial of reno­vation measures

News I Image: 2023 Nikolaus Schäffler

Sustainable decisions for the future need to be carefully considered. The opportunity to help shape the future during a concert hall renovation is rarely offered. Statistically, the average time span for renovating concert halls is around 40 years. Accordingly, the course must be set correctly for a long period of time when renovating a concert hall, and the planning must be flexible enough to take future needs and developments into account.

It is therefore recommended to use a well-founded data and trend analysis as the basis for a project decision. The experience of actori from a multitude of redevelopment projects shows that especially the correct planning and conception of the future content use plays a decisive role for the success of the redevelopment project.

On this basis, actori has derived an ideal-typical procedure for the preparation phase of a concert hall redevelopment. This is aligned along five decisive aspects:

1. recognizing the need for action
The recognition of the need for a refurbishment can arise both from structural deficiencies, e.g., due to new requirements regarding fire protection, escape or minimum dimensions, or from functional and conceptual limitations due to the existing building, e.g., lack of space for music education or lack of storage and logistics areas.

2. Basic conception of content
The next step should be a rough definition of the content of the goal to determine a basic thrust between simple renovation, further development, and expansion of the cultural building. General conditions such as finances or location play an important role here. This direction should be further developed and concretized in the further course of the project.

3. Development of a utilization concept
A utilization concept uses comprehensive trend, market, and competition analyses to ensure that future requirements, demand, user needs, and economic effects can be considered and served. Methodically, stakeholders from different areas can be included in this phase, e.g., through interviews or workshops. If different interests are considered, several conceptual scenarios can also emerge at this point, which are weighed against each other.

4. preparation of a feasibility study
He subsequent examination and analysis of implementation options in the form of a feasibility study is a central aspect for political decision-making and the further course of the project. Economic, functional as well as structural factors should be examined.

5. preparation of further planning and competition services
Based on the preliminary investigations and after examination of the appropriate award procedure, it is then the concrete preparatory activities. In the case of cultural buildings, an architectural competition is often used; this requires, among other things, a clearly defined objective, or in-depth analyses (e.g., escape reports) to provide the participants with the necessary information. This is the only way to achieve a high level of competitive quality.

Important and promising in all phases and during the actual implementation is a content-related project control, which can mediate between the different participants, such as cultural institution and building authority, and at the same time support a content-related further development of the project. In this way, the consequences of concretizations or changes that arise can also be identified and evaluated during the project. As a long-standing partner of cultural building and redevelopment projects, actori is happy to support you in your project, because in addition to the strategic approach, the right timing of the conception is decisive for the success of the redevelopment project.


An impulse contribution by Julius Geiger, Consulting, Franziskus Linsmann Project Management and Frank Schellenberg, Managing Director.

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