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Staatsoper Unter den Linden

Staatsoper Unter den Linden

Unter den Linden 7, 10117 Berlin, Germany | View Map
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Cultural Centres
© Marcus Ebener

Robot-produced dome solution in listed building

Knippers Helbig GmbH as Engineers

KnippersHelbig Advanced Engineering recognised for its reverberation gallery in the Staatsoper, Berlin

The German Civil Engineering Award (DeutscherIngenieurbaupreis) is one of the most important prizes for civil engineers. It is awarded as a state prize under the joint sponsorship of the Federal Ministry of The Interior, Building and Community and the Federal Chamber of Engineers. The engineers at KnippersHelbig Advanced Engineering in Stuttgart broke new ground with their project, realised in cooperation with Berlin architects hg merz. On 13 June 2018, their work received recognition by a distinguished panel chaired by Prof. Annette Bögle.

At the request of the General Music Director, the reverberation time in the historical hall was to be extended without changing the external appearance of the listed StaatsoperUnter den Linden. Since spatial volume was a key factor, the planning team decided to raise the original ceiling by five metres – and the additional spatial volume thus gained now serves as a reverberation gallery. During construction, KnippersHelbig Advanced Engineering’s design scored points through its use of materials, manufacturing techniques and load-bearing properties.

The specially developed, sound-transparent rhombic lattice structure closes the gap created by the raised ceiling between the highest tier and the ceiling and incorporates the diamond pattern dating back to Frederick the Great. It was cast from self-supporting glass-fibre reinforced phosphate ceramics (CBPC): The use of fibre-reinforced composite materials in the construction industry has grown substantially in recent years. By using ceramic material reinforced with glass-fibres, the engineers ventured into entirely new territory. A five-axis CNC portal robot was used to mill the moulds out of rigid PUR foam with data from parametrically generated, three-dimensional models. The result is a highly aesthetic- light and filigree in appearance - load-bearing structure that integrates perfectly into the historical hall and extends the reverberation time from 1.1 to 1.6 seconds.


The team from KnippersHelbig Advanced Engineering will accept their recognition at the award ceremony on 27 November 2018 in the Staatsgalerie Stuttgart.

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