Pina Bausch Zentrum

Diller Scofidio + Renfro Wins International Competition for New Pina Bausch Zentrum in Wuppertal, Germany

Following an international, two-stage competition, Diller Scofidio + Renfro (DS+R) has been selected as the architect for the Pina Bausch Zentrum (PBZ) in Wuppertal, Germany. The Pina Bausch Zentrum will be a new cultural institution that builds on the legacy of dancer and choreographer Pina Bausch, a pioneer of modern dance and one of the most influential choreographers of the 20th century. The Center will
mark the first-ever cultural institution built in dedication to a choreographer.

Located on the so-called “culture island” in the Wupper River, the Pina Bausch Zentrum will be centered around four programmatic pillars:

Preservation and modernization of the dedicated performance venue for the Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch, an internationally acclaimed dance company founded by Pina Bausch and currently led by Boris Charmatz A new production center with flexible, generous infrastructure that provides state-of-the-art conditions and creative freedoms to large-scale, multidisciplinary stage productions of international
status, along with new projects and in-house series from the Pina Bausch Zentrum An archive of Pina Bausch’s extensive artistic heritage, which will be made accessible for the first time by the Pina Bausch Foundation and serve as a hub for study, research, and scholarly programming

The Wupperbogen Forum, a public space centered around social cohesion and bridging communities in the fields of science, politics, economics, education, urban planning, and art

In response to Boris Charmatz’s sentiment that dance is everywhere, DS+R’s design for the building and surrounding site offers a proof of concept on home turf. The PBZ is an agile architecture of infrastructure, both raw and refined, and responsive to needs as they happen. The anatomy of the PBZ is defined by the intersection of two axes: an East-West extension of the garden courtyards of the Schauspielhaus and a North-South connection from the Bundesallee to the river. The crossing forms a third courtyard that will be the center of activity. This Performance Courtyard is a multi-level space surrounded by the functional programs of the building: the Lobby to the North, the support wing with the archive above to the East, the Multifunktionsraum (Multi-Function Room) to the South, and Die Küche (The Kitchen) to the West-where the Schauspielhaus and the new building join. More on the design features can be found on DS+R’s website here.

Of DS+R’s design entry, the jury commented: “The industrial aesthetics that the authors have in mind for the new building is not only reminiscent of Wuppertal’s industrial heritage, but also suggests a relaxed form of expression that wants to correspond to the experimental use intended by the Pina Bausch Zentrum.”

DS+R’s submitted design will be on display at the Schauspielhaus Wuppertal through June 18, 2023. Elizabeth Diller’s presentation of the design can be viewed here.

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