Look inside the Kraftwerk Mitte

Kraftwerk Mitte Generating new energy

Advertisement A 40,000 sqm site, three new tower structures for stage performance and rehearsal, 1,100 theatre seats in mixed design, 40,000 litres of white paint, 100,000 metres of cabling, approximately €120 million invested by the city in a project completed on time and within budget: the revival of Kraftwerk Mitte is a shining example of how the arts should be promoted. By Maren Soehring

The energy of the place is tangible

According to Felicitas Loewe, director of tjg (theater junge generation), the energy of the place is tangible. Whenever she walks into her new studio theatre in the old machine shed, she feels her batteries being quickly charged. She and her ensemble made the move from their previous base on the outskirts of the city to the new premises while construction was still ongoing. Just across the vestibule, the staff of the Staatsoperette Dresden (Dresden State Operetta) can be seen unloading crates: they too had long looked forward to their move into new premises.

The two very different theatre companies not only share a foyer but also a philosophy. Loewe and her counterpart, operetta director Wolfgang Schaller, want to involve people of all generations, to experiment and to electrify the whole city with culture. The concept of synergy repeatedly crops up in conversations with people you meet on the site of the former power station. The staff of the Heinrich Böll Foundation think tank enjoy the exchange of ideas with the creative types who work here. Students at the Heinrich Schütz Conservatoire rehearse alongside young musicians taking first steps on the career ladder at the Carl Maria von Weber University of Music. In spring, neonworx will move into their new offices, and more companies are due to follow.

The city has taken care at every stage of the complex project to stay within budget and get the right mix of tenants. This new cultural power station is set to galvanise Dresden with a special sort of energy.

We’ve moved in

Operas, operettas, musicals: The new Staatsoperette auditorium is ideal for staging different genres.

A venue for three types of youth entertainment aimed at children and teenagers: Each year, the tjg (theater junge generation) ensemble stages around 600 theatrical productions, puppet theatre shows and drama school presentations.

Training and performing: The Carl Maria von Weber University of Music has acquired rooms at Kraftwerk Mitte for training music teachers.

Formerly generating power for the local tram network, now an event location: Musik-Club Kraftwerk Mitte hosts hip parties and private events.

A journey back in time: The Kraftwerk Dresden Energy Museum is dedicated to the history of the city’s power supply. Admission free!

Music and dance: 6,000 dance and music students are taught at the Heinrich-Schütz-Konservatorium.

Coworking with neonworx: In the renovated Zwischenbau (link building), neonworx rents offices and co-working spaces for freelancers.

Coffee + company = good thinking: The first gastronomic venture on the site was the T1 Bistro & Café in the former reception building. It retains the industrial design of the 1930s.

Exchange of ideas: The Weiterdenken think tank established by the Heinrich Böll Foundation in Saxony has taken up residence in the former transformer hall.

Developers and landlords of the site are DREWAG Stadtwerke Dresden.


Geländeplan Kraftwerk Mitte