The Modern Monument
Until 1945, the site of today's "Haus des Lehrers" (House of the Teacher) was occupied by the "Lehrervereinshaus" (Teachers' Association House), built in 1908 by Hans Toebelmann and Henry Groß for the Berlin Teachers' Association, which was lost to aerial bombing during the Second World War in 1945.
The German Democratic Republic (GDR) intended to continue the tradition of the former Berlin Teachers' Association House in its old location and commissions the architect Hermann Henselmann to design a contemporary venue for communication and events with a socialist character.
Hermann Henselmann creates a visionary building complex with the Haus des Lehrers and the Congress Hall. Functionality and transparency are translated into futuristic architecture. The foundation stone is laid on 12/12/1961 by the mayor of East Berlin, Friedrich Ebert.
After three years of construction, the ensemble opens on 09/09/1964.
While the Haus des Lehrers serves the further education of teachers, cultural events and individual international congresses take place in what is now the bcc. Highlights are events for the Berlin Festival Days and the "Festival of Political Song". Between 1964 and 1976, the People's Chamber of the GDR meet here several times.
To optimise the acoustics in the domed hall, special acoustic sails are being designed in collaboration with students from the Technical University of Dresden.
In September 1991, the building became the property of the State of Berlin. The architectural ensemble is listed as a historical monument in the 90s and in 1999 is included in the list of Berlin's best buildings. However, the building structure gradually deteriorates and the events lose their level of quality. At the end of the 90s, Generation@ discovers Alexanderplatz. Creative people from the fields of multimedia, art and architecture are interim users of the building.
The bcc Grundstücksgesellschaft acquires the building from the state of Berlin. The "Blinkenlights" light installation attracts a great deal of international attention to the building.
March 2002 – Beginning of 2004
The ensemble of buildings is renovated and thoroughly modernised at a cost of approx. 30 million euros in keeping with its status as a listed building. The investment is largely financed by the WBM Wohnungsbaugesellschaft Berlin-Mitte. While preserving its architectural identity, the bcc becomes a unique venue for events.
Since 2003, the former congress hall is operated as the "bcc" by bcc GmbH and is a venue for high-quality events in the fields of business, science, politics, medicine and IT.
The grand opening takes place in September 2003 with an international medical congress.
Chaos Computer Club
From 2003 to 2011, the "Chaos Communication Congress", an annual specialist conference of the hacker association Chaos Computer Club (CCC), is held at the bcc with up to 3,000 participants.
The corporate sound of the bcc is created by Christian Hartje and Jan Pieper from K3 SONIC FACTORY. "The challenge in the composition [...] was to combine various, extremely different influencing factors. These included architecture, colour scheme, but also the historical change the building has undergone. The futuristic design was to be reflected in the composition."
During the "Chaos Communication Congress" (CCC), the bcc's sound logo was used as music during breaks and can still be heard at IT events worldwide.
The forecourt and driveway of the bcc are renovated in accordance with the historic model and retain the historic striped pattern from the 60s.
In 2008, the bcc developed the "cp08" dishware series in cooperation with gewerkdesign. The entire catering process from storage, preparation and cooking to presentation and service to the guest, was re-imagined. The stackable porcelain combines design and functionality and fits seamlessly into the catering system. The modular system offers an infinite number of possible combinations.
The corporate design of the bcc developed in 2003 with gewerkdesign is subject to a redesign in 2013. In addition to logo optimisation, a new web presence and the redefinition of design principles, the bcc Berliner Congress Center GmbH becomes the bcc Berlin Congress Center GmbH.
In 2019, a new seating and table system is introduced at the bcc. The furniture collection, handmade in Germany and consisting of the "A-Chair", a table that was developed specifically for the project, as well as matching table panels, desk trays and transport trolleys, was designed in a three-year development phase and close cooperation with the Brunner GmbH. All elements follow a clear timeless design and harmonise with the architecture of the bcc.
The bcc celebrates its 20th anniversary.