Oaktree Opera

Eichbaum is a neglected square and metro station located in the middle of a highway intersection between the cities of Mülheim and Essen. Built in the 1970s, it had developed into a vandalised and fearful place and the Eichbaumoper project was the temporary transformation of the Eichbaum into an opera. The so-called Opernbauhütte – built from four sea-containers – is the architectural symbol of its reactivation and transformation. It was the central element for an extraordinary collaboration of different professionals and local residents offering workshop spaces, a conference room, bar, cinema, art gallery, and meeting place.

As the world of everyday life merged with the artificial world of the opera, the stories of the local peoples, the noise of the highway, the rhythm of the passing metro and the inhospitable spaces became the formative parts of the Eichbaumoper, which was performed in June – July 2009. Eichbaumoper transformed an urban ‘non-place’ into a place of possibilities. It was the starting point for an ongoing urban transformation process.