International Competition 1st Prize
The project is one of the large cultural buildings of the Federal Republic and, on account of its linking of old structure with the functional requirements of the new media technologies, may claim to be a model for others. The architects have succeeded in preserving the 1918 RC skeleton structure while inserting new elements and the required complex high-tech installations as well as restructuring other areas. A large electronic sound studio was placed in front of the façade of the old hall as a separate acoustically insulated, shock-proof, anti-vibration building. Light projections constantly alter the appearance of the façade grid and convey a first impression of the construction task of a seemingly immaterial architecture that has to be further developed experimentally. The ‘culture factory’ is 320 metres long and not only a fascinating piece of industrial architekture, but also the starting point for the redevelopment of an entire urban district. The blue ‘media cube’ of the ZKM encloses the hermetic recording studio in a membrane of light which filters through movable glass slats into the urban surroundings. The large-scale solar panel system produces direct-current energy and feeds it into the municipal network which powers the Karlsruhe tramways.