970s Icon, the International Congress Centrum Berlin, Celebrates Open Monument Day

9th Sep, 2023

Last night Franziska Giffey, Berlin's Senator for Economic Affairs, Dr Christoph Rauhut, State Conservator and Director of the Berlin Monument Authority and Burkhard Kieker, CEO of visitBerlin, have opened the currently unutilised International Congress Centrum Berlin (ICC) for 48 hours on the occasion of the Open Monument Day 2023. 

ICC Berlin will be hosting an open house on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The event will feature special insights behind the doors that have been closed for ten years. More than 340 other monuments will also be open to Berliners and visitors of the city over the weekend of 9 and 10 September 2023 as part of our Open Monument Day.

Franziska Giffey, Mayor and the Senator for Economic Affairs, Energy and Public Enterprises said, “ICC Berlin represents both the history of our city as well as cosmopolitan Berlin. What was realised here in the 1970s still gives us goosebumps and excitement today. For me, this monument is not only an architectural treasure but also a symbol for the future, which is closely linked to culture, creativity and innovation here in Berlin. This is exactly why we want to revitalise this unique building and find the best ideas and most convincing implementation concepts for its future use through an international competition. In the meantime, I am delighted that we can open the ICC's doors once again to Berliners and our international guests, as we are doing right now through our Open Monument Day”.

Burkhard Kieker, CEO of visitBerlin, also said: “ICC Berlin was and continues to be a visionary building for our city that still has a lot of potential for Berlin as a conference and congress location. Through our “ICC open for 48 hours” event, we are bringing this slumbering icon back into the consciousness of Berliners and the world as well as raising awareness for the future of this building”.

State Conservator Dr Christoph Rauhut: “The ICC was fully booked out in a very short time. This is a tremendous signal for the future – Berliners have shown that they want this building back. We will do our utmost to support the planned concept award after the successful ICC opening for our Open Monument Day".

A journey into the past and the future: even though it opened in 1979, the ICC, with its silver-grey façade, is one of the most spectacular and futuristic venues in Berlin and still the largest congress centre in Europe. Closed in 2014, ICC Berlin has been a listed building since 2019. The centre will be made accessible to a broad public on a free-of-charge basis for the first time in ten years as part of the Open Monument Day. The interest is huge: around 30,000 people have booked tickets for the opening weekend on 8 to 10 September 2023 in advance.

The “ICC open for 48 hours” event will provide information about the monument and its history. Several halls, foyers, the roof terrace and the building's design details can be viewed in their original condition. Visitors can talk to contemporary on-site witnesses, including Frank Oehring, the light artist, Theodor Przybilla, the former ICC sound engineer and Erwin Larisch, the long-time ICC caretaker. 

Visitors are also invited to actively participate in the discussion about the ICC's future use. The state of Berlin will launch a conceptual process about the future of the building in 2024 and decide on its future in 2026.

Opening ICC Berlin as part of the Open Monument Day has been made possible by visitBerlin and the Berlin Monument Authority in collaboration with the Senate Department for Economic Affairs, Energy and Public Enterprises as well as the Berlinische Galerie and Messe Berlin.

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