The Haus der Kulturen der Welt (House of World Cultures) is a site for international contemporary arts and a forum for the latest developments and discourses. Located in the German capital Berlin, it presents artistic productions from all over the world, focusing especially on non-European cultures and societies. Its international programme, which brings together visual arts, music, literature, performing arts, film, academic discussions and digital media, is unique in Europe.
In a time in which local and national issues are inseparably linked to international developments, the House enables the diversity of voices of the world to be heard and provides a productive place for dialogue within societies. In cooperation with artists and experts, it offers visitors the opportunity to grapple with the conflicts, challenges and issues of our time: How do our ways of living sit alongside each other? What sort of future do we want to live in? How can we design a world that is more intelligent but also more poetic?
The Congress Hall has been the home of the Haus der Kulturen der Welt since 1989, when it was first established. The Congress Hall was the American contribution to the INTERBAU 1957 international building exposition and sought to embody the freedom of thought exchange in the climate of the Cold War. To this end the curving roof looks like wings. In the words of the American architect Hugh Stubbins, it promised that "there are no barriers to the freedom of intellectual work here".
Since 2002 the Haus der Kulturen der Welt has been a division of Kulturveranstaltungen des Bundes in Berlin GmbH as non profit making institution which also comprises the Berliner Festspiele and the International Filmfestspiele Berlin.