Re-opening of the Dialoghaus in Hamburg

Among Dialogue's good news this summer is the re-opening of the Dialoghaus Hamburg next July, 2nd.

Photo of the entrance doors of the Dialoghaus Hamburg decorated with rainbow colored banners, advertsing the re-opening on July, 2nd 2021

The Dialoghaus will open from Friday to Sunday. Private group’s requests for weekdays will be accepted. Dialogue in the Dark and Dialogue in Silence experiences will be available.

I interviewed Sonja Bredtmann, COO of the Dialoghaus and Katrin Mütze, Communication & PR for all details of this re-opening.

DSE: How are you operating DiD and DiS under the pandemic restrictions?

DHH: The DiD tour is 60 minutes with up to 8-visitors per group. Business workshops are available with reduced numbers of participants and physical distancing. Dinning in the Dark will be available only on Saturdays and with up to 28 guests.

The silence tour has also a duration of 60 minutes and groups have been reduced from 12 to 10 visitors. Some exhibition stations in the lobby will be available for the visitors as well as the pedagogical workshops for students.

DSE: Is Dialogue with Time not re-opening?

DHH: Unfortunately, the Dialogue with Time exhibition will be closed permanently. However, a new project called the Dialog-Lab is in its starting phase already and will be situated in the same area where DwT was located. We are enthusiastic about it.

DSE: How are the visually and hearing impaired colleagues dealing with this re-opening?

DHH: They have attended a workshop before the opening. It was a platform to share and express about the pandemic time. There are mixed emotions: some are happy to be back at work and some are rather anxious – even more than at the last re-opening in October 2020.

The DiS guides seem to be more relaxed. They are fully protected and they can see - so they can keep the distance, which probably makes them feel more comfortable. But the DiD guides worry about many things: how to control the different tests/certificates, what about spontaneous visitors, what can we offer to drink in the bar, how to sit and speak in the dark and how to handle kids and people who need help in the dark (how to touch or better not...) But all these questions are natural before we see how it actually works.

Nearly all of them have received the first vaccination and are fully protected. We have all measurements and they have done this workshop which helped them to find ways to cope with this anxiety.

DSE: What are the expectations upon this re-opening, which I think are short-term ones?

DHH: As we open in the middle of summer holiday, which is not a very good season anyway for the Dialoghaus, we do not expect too many visitors. We have calculated 70% of our maximum capacity. For DiS we have calculated even less, because DiS was closed now 16 months, which is more like a new opening...but as a minimum we have one guide there and we started to push the marketing for DiS.

DSE:. Do the online offers continue in parallel with the in-person re-opening?

DHH: Yes of course we still offer the digital workshop for schools and business workshops for companies. The new online pedagogic workshop for students who can work with Zoom has been booked very well.

Fingers crossed for the re-opening of the Dialoghaus! We hope this is the beginning of the pandemic’s end.