Duett Düsseldorf
Opera House and Cultural Hub


Architecture, Landscape Architecture


With two iconic dancing towers, a generous public roof garden and a world-class opera house, Duett Düsseldorf is set to give the German city a new cultural epicenter. Situated in the heart of Düsseldorf city center, Snøhetta has been commissioned by CENTRUM GROUP to propose a new opera house and cultural hub for the city. Dubbed Duett Düsseldorf, the new opera house creates clear connections to the nearby Hofgarten park, the Rhein river and the popular Königsallee street, aiming to create a publicly accessible space that brings people together. With a state-of-the-art opera house, a hotel, restaurants and cafés, office spaces and residential units, the project aims to create a shared cultural epicenter for the people of Düsseldorf.

Technical details

Performance Space, Workspace, Hospitality, Residential
Düsseldorf, Germany

Bollinger+Grohmann, Theatre Project, Drees & Sommer

163 111 m2

The new opera house will replace the existing one on Heinrich-Heine-Allee 16A, as the current floor plan is not suited to facilitate a well-functioning opera house at an international level. The proposal therefore suggests a 1.350 square meter expansion to the north for a fully integrated side stage and enough space for back-of-house functions and additional program, and a 1.455 square meter expansion to the East to facilitate a larger foyer. To minimize the footprint into the Hofgarten park, the program at ground level is limited and functions that can be placed in the higher-up floors have been lifted.

A Warm Welcome

Bridging from the lush, historic Hofgarten park, the landscape design surrounding the opera house is developed with focus on the flow of people through an urban forest leading to the opera house’s foyer. The curved landscape reorganizes the road systems and strengthens the connection to Königsallee through a new bridge in the south and a connection to the West.
Approaching the foyer and main entrance from the park, the boundaries between indoors and outdoors are blurred, bringing the foyer and the park together. Walking on the clearly defined carpet of granite stone, a 16-meter-tall transparent glass façade reveals a sculptural wood wall within the foyer. With overhanging balconies stretching out from the circular core, the organically shaped wall creates a spatial phenomenon transitioning from a vertical wall to a horizontal sky. From the forest-like entrance from the park, through the transparent glass shell, the meeting with the wooden core creates an intimate, warm and comforting welcome to the opera house.

Bringing People Together

Generous staircases and ramps lead from the foyer up to a café on the fourth floor of the building – the first of three floors in a horizontal cantilevering volume topping off the foyer and main stage below. From the North-Western part of this horizontal level, visitors can get a first glimpse of the magnificent views of the surrounding area.

On the top of the horizontal volume, a publicly accessible roof landscape offers breathtaking views of the city and park. Directly accessible from the foyer with an escalator, the 6.000-square-meter public roof landscape appears as a green courtyard with an attractive 360-degree view. Designed for flexibility and multifunctional use, the roofscape is ideal for cultural events, performances and other activities. Other commercial functions such as restaurants and cafes are connected to the three horizontal levels, creating an appealing public attraction in the city. 

A Iconic Dancing Duet

From the horizontal levels, an unmistakable V-shaped silhouette reaches up towards the sky. The ensemble of towers changes its silhouette from each new perspective, creating a constantly changing expression reminiscent of a dancing duet. The towers are strategically designed to reduce shading of surrounding areas of the park and neighborhood, while also creating better daylight conditions in the courtyard.