• 1993


  • 1996

    Start of Planning

  • 1997

    Start of Construction

  • 1998

Project Description

The Urban Design Concept

The urban design concept of the UFA Cinema Center confronts the issue of public space, which is currently endangered in European cities. This situation is caused by the financial insolvency of city governments, which forces the sale of public space to developers, who then propose monofunctional buildings in order to maximize capital return.
By disintegrating the monofunctionality of these structures and adding urban functions to them, a new urbanity can arise in the city. This character of urbanity would not only be determined by functional differentiation and the creation of new spatial sequences thereby, but also by the injection of media events.

The project for the UFA Cinema Center is a result of the urban design concept developed for the planning competition Pragerstraße Nord. Pragerstraße was defined as a dynamic spatial sequence, defined by tangents and diagonals rather than by axis. The interweaving of public squares, public interiors, and passageways was proposed as a way of energizing and densifying the new center of Dresden. The junctures between these urban vectors are defined as public spaces.
The UFA Cinema Center is located at one of these junctures; it is formulated as the urban connection between Pragerplatz and St. Petersburger Straße. Thereby The Cinema itself is thereby transformed into a public space.

The Cinema as an Urban Tranisistor

The Architectural Design Concept

The design is characterized by two intricately interconnected building units: The Cinema Block, with eight cinemas and seating for 2600, and the Crystal, a glass shell which serves simultaneously as foyer and Public Square.

The Cinema Block

The Cinema Block opens up towards the street and is permeable for pedestrian traffic between Pragerstraße and St. Petersburger Straße. It is differentiated by the circulation system of the cinemas and by views through to St. Petersburger Straße.

The Crystal

The Crystal is no longer merely a functional entry hall to the cinemas, but an urban passageway.
The bridges, ramps and stairs to the cinemas are themselves urban expressions. They allow views of the movement of people on a multitude of levels, unfolding the urban space into three dimensions. The lively quality of this space can be described in relation to the dynamic structure of film.
The Skybar, the "floating" double-cone inside the foyer, is accessible and will host different functions (café, bar etc.).

In this way, the content of the building becomes visible to the city as much as the city is visible from the building. It is an inside-out building which sustains a dialogue with the city. The media event - projected from the interior towards the exterior - assists in the creation of urban space.



  • 1 847 m² Site Area
  • 6 174 m² Floor Area
  • 1 522 m² Built-up Area
  • 53 725 m³ Cubage




COOP HIMMELB(L)AU Wolf D. Prix, Helmut Swiczinsky + Partner
Project Architect: Verena Perius
Design Architect: Tom Wiscombe
Project Team: Eric Geddes, Alex Hagner, Spencer Hunt, Laura King, Johannes Kraus, Miro Krawczinski, Andreas Mieling, Stefanie Murero, Florian Pfeifer, James Puckhaber, Stefano Pujatti, Jennifer Rakow, Stephanie Reich, Andreas Schaller, Karolin Schmidbaur, Alexander Seitlinger, Bernd Spiess, Michael Volk, Andras Westhausser, Susanne Zottl

Construction Documents: Arge Eiger Nord Wien
Coop Himmelb(l)au – ATP


Structural Engineering: B+G Ingenieure, Bollinger und Grohmann GmbH, Frankfurt, Deutschland


Built Unbuilt

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