Streit – Everything in the flow – culture

The municipal theater of Ingolstadt is to be rehabilitated as temporary housing intended for the future Kammerspiele. Although the architectural competition has been decided, the third mayor is fighting for a new variant on the Danube

Knut Weber is angry. The director of the Ingolstadt Municipal Theater is very emotional these days about Sepp Misslbeck, a member of the Independent Democrats Ingolstadt (UDI) and his third mayor. The 75-year-old local politician worked on a Kammerspiele construction project on a long haul flight from China. With his "spontaneous idea" (Mißlbeck), he caused a sensation in the city.

After all, the architectural competition for the new theater building, which is to be used as temporary accommodation at the Stadttheater, which needs renovation works, has been decided for a long time; work is underway on the realization of the plans. "And now, the third mayor gets involved in the proceedings and wants to stop" – Weber finds it extremely difficult to hear. The director has time in the neck. In December 2022, the operating license of his house expires, mainly because the fire protection no longer meets the current requirements. Misslbeck takes it so easily. "I am convinced that it will not be closed." Weber, meanwhile, refers to the Augsburg Theater, which had to close for these reasons.

Plan discussions in the city: the new Ingolstadt Kammerspiele. Here is the drawing of the first prize-winner, the Hamburg architect's office, Blauraum.

(Photo: Drafts Stadt Ingolstadt)

The "Hämer building", named after the couple of architects Hardt-Walther Hämer and Marie-Brigitte Hämer-Buro, was a backbone for many inhabitants of Ingolstadt during its early years, although the Spectacular theater was awarded with the prize of the Association of German Architects in 1967, The apparent polygonal concrete building, opened in 1966, is listed as a historical monument since 2002. But now, a general renovation is inevitable. Not only the protection against fire, but also the technology of the scene no longer meet the current requirements, as well as the sampling rooms and storage areas. "The company has changed, we are overflowing, the working conditions of our 200 employees are unacceptable," explains Intendant Weber in describing the situation. In addition, the small house, another theater venue is in trouble.

As a result, the city council quickly decided to create a new theater. In February 2017, after being first entertained by a tent, he decided to build a new house next to the Stadttheater: the Kammerspiele. The procedure was launched, citizens were able to participate, an architecture competition was launched, the estimated cost to 30 million euros, the free state reaching 75%. In December 2018, a panel of 15 submissions selected the top three. Their common point: they position the Kammerspiele in front of the Stadttheater on the green space behind the Museum of Concrete Art. What a negative impact on local politicians: this area is located above an underground car park, perhaps the Kammerspielen, some car parks of the victim. A delicate subject. "Ingolstadt is finally a car town, everyone has his two Audis in the garage," he jokes.

Knut Weber

"We do not need another representative building, but a public stage with workspaces and storage areas."

A feasibility study should specify the number of places actually lost; 200 will be according to Blauraum, the first architects' office in Hamburg. One day before the jury meeting last December, Mißlbeck had arrived with his hand drawn sketches and presented the vision of a cultural building in a completely new place: Kammerspiele directly on the Danube. In the meantime, an architect friend has professionalised the design and designed a remarkable building in the Danube which is connected to the Hämer building by a footbridge. The mayor presented his proposal in the local newspaper and called for a new contest.

This decision greatly angered the director. It does not matter that Mißlbeck after "Bürgermeisterart" just throws everything over the pile, he gets angry. "We do not need another representative building, but a public stage with workspaces and storage areas." In early July, the initiative of the planning committee of the city of Misslbeck had already been rejected. But that does not interest him, even if he admits having to take a lot of blows for his idea. "For now, I'm almost alone," he says. Nevertheless, he hopes that in two weeks, the city council decides on his request to officially stop the process, rethink and consider other places. Therefore, the Intendant Weber does not believe that the subject is already finished. "You do not know what happens during election campaigns."

Michael Klarner, spokesman for the city of Ingolstadt for the press, does not share his fears. The Planning Committee clearly objected to Mißlbeck's proposal, he said. The city council will certainly reject it too. Finally, the new building should be started as soon as possible so as not to delay the renovation of the theater. "Everything else is unimaginable," says Klarner.