1st Prize at 2009 competition
Winner of City of Leipzig Architecture Prize 2015
The restoration and extension of the Congress Hall Leipzig is now complete. The book bearing the building’s name published by Jovis Verlag sets out the history of the building project.
Düsseldorf/Leipzig, 4 February 2016. Extensively restored by HPP and added with new halls, the Kongresshalle am Zoo Leipzig (Congress Hall Leipzig) reopened last year.
Built as the social and cultural centre of the Zoological Gardens in Leipzig in 1900, the Neo-Romanesque style building with its several towers was repaired and brought back into use in 1946, after being damaged in the war. However, neglect and finally years of standing empty led to serious defects in the building.
In 2009, HPP won a competition held by Leipzig city council for the restoration and extension of the Congress Hall near Leipzig Zoo. Split into two phases, the restoration of the Congress Hall consists of the reconstruction of the historic halls in the style at the time they were originally built and the construction of new buildings with further rooms.
In the first phase, from 2010 to the end of 2011, parts of the south and north wings were restored, the Bach Hall reconstructed and a new building with additional halls built. One of these rooms was the Telemann Hall, which, with its façade made of superimposed, overlapping pointed arches, makes reference to the White Hall and continues it in a modern architectural language. The façade was constructed on site out of white concrete units. In the second phase, the White Hall, the Large Hall and the Richard Wagner Hall were restored. Today, the 14 event rooms are used by Leipzig Messe as a congress centre, while the new Palm Room is operated by the Zoo as a restaurant.
The recent book published by Jovis Verlag with text by the author Falk Jaeger highlights the project’s history and reports on the extensive refurbishment works and the restoration of the historic halls planned and designed by HPP. The book also discusses the modern rooms and the new parts of the building that functionally augment the ensemble and make it into a modern congress centre. “One of the few such facilities in Europe to bridge between history and modernity,” explains Gerd Heise, HPP partner responsible for the project.