The cityscape of Dresden has been constantly evolving over the years, and, while it has regained much of its ancient beauty, the city has also developed a new and contemporary identity. In addition to the reconstructed historic buildings, Dresden contains countless buildings, new and old, whose unique architecture deserves more attention.

Centrum Gallery

A modern shopping experience with a historic facade

Prager Straße is one of the most important contributions of the GDR to the modern age. The prefabricated construction of the buildings along the shopping street is brought to life by the juxtaposition of narrowness and expanse. The unique architectural build of the round cinema and the powerful facade of the former Centrum department store attract particular attention.

The striking aluminum honeycombs from the original 1978 facade by Dresden architect Peter Kulka, were maintained and restored for the new construction of the Centrum Galerie which began in 2007. The interior of the mall is imposing, concentrated and visually strong enough to maintain a presence against the plethora of large, vivid advertising posters.

Kraftwerk Mitte

New cultural location in the city center

At the end of 2016, the city of Dresden rebuilt a portion of the former industrial zone in the city center, transforming it into a new cultural district. The former powerhouse is the new home of the Dresden Operette and Theater for Young Generations. The building, built in 1890, reflects an exciting mix of old industrial culture and modern installations which now incorporate the foyer, dining area, cloakrooms, and open glass offices.

The outside facade is comprised of squares of brick and steel. Thus the new build is reminiscent of the traditional build and is reinterpreted through new window openings and glass cubes.

SLUB – Saxon State and University Library

A homage to the rationality of reason

The severe building exudes rationality and dominance of abstract modernity. Two cubes of natural stone protrude from the lawn and hint at what lies hidden behind the prison-like facade.

Cold geometric exterior- in contrast, the architect has achieved a certain warmth and comfort inside with interesting materials, such as exposed concrete.

© SLUB Dresden / Henrik Ahlers

© Deutsches Hygiene-Museum / Oliver Killig

Deutsches Hygiene-Museum

Striving upwards

The structure of the Deutsches Hygiene Museum is among the most remarkable of the 1920s. It features both outside and inside an austere, functional architecture, but also a certain cool beauty. The monumental structure is supported by a cubic central structure, dominated by a glass front and four impressive pillars.

The almost demonstrative restraint of color and materials contradicts the monumental character of the building. Some speculate that the conflict in the building was intended as a commentary on Germany’s situation within Europe and the world in 1930.


More art than architecture

With Art-otel architects Jan, Roosje, and Rolf Rave sought to combine art with contemporary architecture. The building, which was completed in 1996, unites hotel, gastronomie, and office, a variety of stores, and an exhibit for contemporary art under one roof.

The hotel is characterized by furnishing by Denis Santacheriaras, a prominent designer from Milan, and the artwork of one of the most famous contemporary artists, A. R. Pencks. Additionally, the Dresden-born artist designed the 6,5 Meter tall bronze figure on the roof of the building.

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