The refurbishment marks the Goethe Institut’s 50th anniversary in London, and has seen exensive restoration and modernisation to the building, as well as a specially commissioned installation by German artists Gloria Zein.
The Goethe Institut organises British-German cultural events such as exhibitions, film screenings, lectures and debates, as well as providing German language classes.
Last year, the Goethe-Institut worldwide went through a re-branding exercise, which resulted in a modified corporate design and identity, created by German consultancy Peter Schmidt Group. The new branding will be used in the refurbished London Goethe Institut building.
Blauel Architects was appointed to the most recent phase of the building project on the strength of previous commissions for the German Embassy, having first gone on site in March 2011.
Robert Guest, architect at Blauel, says, ‘at the time, there was a very limited scope of work through refurbishment, and then once it was all under way they decided to make a large investment in it internally.’
The project has seen the restoration of the existing gallery space and lecture auditorium, as well as the creation of a new library on the first floor, classrooms and a ground floor meeting space, which will open in the autumn.
Guest says, ‘The colour palette is all fairly muted grey, white and black, with a new high specification uplighting system in aluminium casing.’
Blauel has introduced a new ramp entrance at the back of the building in glass and steel, and acoustic ceiling panels have also been fitted.
Sabine Hentzsch, Director of Goethe Institut London, says, ‘The Goethe Institut has been a focus of contemporary German culture in the UK for the past 50 years. I am delighted that we can throw open our doors again to London in this our 50th anniversary year in our newly restored building, to continue the intercultural dialogue with our partners across the UK.
The Goethe Institut, which is situated on Exhibition Road, will re-open to the public on 20 May.