1865 founded as Nagel & Kaemp ironworks.
Production of large-scale machinery; initially rice mills and then primarily cargo equipment and cranes. Even today, Kampnagel Cranes can be found in harbours on every continent.
Stages the novel "Maschinenfabrik N&K" (Machine Factory N&K) by Willi Bredel, depicting the story of the aborted 1923 workers’ uprising against the Weimar Republic.
From 1939 Armament factory
From 1945 Re-opening of the civil production of cargo equipment for ships and harbours
1968: As a result of the triumph of container technology, the demand for traditional Kampnagel products is reduced.
The factory is sold to the Demag Corporation and fork-lift trucks are manufactured on the premises until 1981.
1981 with the closure of the manufacturing plant, so ends the factory era of Kampnagel. Senat and Bezirk plan to demolish the halls and construct a housing estate; the demolition is initially suspended.
From 1982 Deutsches Schauspielhaus uses a part of the building during the refurbishment of their main building on the Kirchenalle as the headquarters for the whole company, for direction and administration over workplaces and rehearsal stages through to performance venues.
5th-10th October 1982 The first festival "Besetzungsprobe", on the premises, by the Hamburg freelance theatre groups who saw an ideal production and performance space for their work here.
1983: Guest play Peter Brook: "Carmen" and festival "Besetzungsprobe 2. Bild": Support from the senate for Kampnagel to have freelance groups at its disposal for permanent use.
1984: Deutsches Schauspielhaus returns to the Kirchenallee; first Summer Theatre Festival of the freelance groups. The senate decides to suspend the planned demolition/to preserve Halls 1 to 6, "for as long as they are wanted by the audience".
1985 : From March onwards there is a continuous run of performances at Kampnagel under the commercial directon of Hannah Hurtzig and Mücke Quinckardt. In July/August: regular international summer festival under the direction of Dieter Jaenicke. To begin with, the premises are supported by the Hamburg Cultural Authority.
1986: The first women’s festival on the premises, "Hammoniale", under the direction of Irmgard Schleier; since then, the festival takes place in a biennial cycle, with sponsorship from societies; since 1995 it has been produced under the artistic direction of Isabella Vertes-Schütter and Irmgard Schleier.
1987: International Theatre-Dance Festival, staged by the Hamburg State Opera; subsequent regular performances in the hall [k6] put on by the State Opera with works by people such as Robert Wilson and John Neumeier, amongst others.
1987: Official opening of the gallery [kx] in the administration headquarters; the gallery is run by a self-governing committee and regularly presents exhibitions, installations and performances by contemporary and international artists.
1987: Official opening of the exhibition room [k3] with "New Art in Hamburg", curated by the director of the Art Society, Karl-Egon Vester.
1990: Appointment of a Kampnagel council. New leadership: Hans Man in´t Veld and Wolfram Kremer, who are responsible for the programme of regular programme of performances in the halls.
1991: Jürgen Zielinski launches a project under the name "Youth theatre for Hamburg at Kampnagel" (JAK), to create an independent Hamburg youth theatre.
1992: Change in commercial direction: Jack F. Kurfess, up until now administrator at "The Dance Studio NRW", becomes commercial director of Kampnagel.
February 1993: Conversion of the council to a Limited company with the task of filling the halls with a programme of Kampnagel’s own productions, co-productions and guest plays. Hans Man in´t Veld and Jack F. Kurfess are appointed as directors of the Limited company. Chairman of the governing body is the Culture Senator, Dr Christina Weiss.
October 1993: Relocation of the "Alabama" cinema onto the premises; under the direction of Doris Bandhold and Michael Konrad a challenging arthouse cinema is created for the area.
June 1994: Jürgen Zielinski declares Project JAK unsuccessful.
August 1994: Change of artistic direction to the former director of the Zurich Theatre Spectacular, Res Bosshart; Jack F. Kurfess stays on as commercial director.
February 1997: Sale of the borders of the premises to Barmbeker Straße through the senate; a proportion of the sales proceeds is put aside for substantial reconstruction and refurbishment of the theatre halls.
1998: With the demolition of the hall on the canal and the new development of housing and industrial buildings, the so-called "border construction", the former factory premises, Kampnagel, obtains its present and future structure. The core of the building (Halls 1-6) continues to be reserved for art.
2nd May 1998 – 3rd November 1998: Reconstruction and refurbishment of the halls.
December 1998: The Cultural Authority of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg decides on a structural reform of Kampnagel: Starting from the 2001/2002 season, the Kampnagel International Culture Factory Ltd is not only a company institution, but also stages a theatre festival in the summer, to replace the formerly independent „Hamburg International Summer Theatre Festival“.
4th November 1998: Ceremonial opening of Kampnagel and commencement of the 1998/99 season with the Japanese theatre performance Dumb Type.
June 1999: The "Hammoniale", the festival for women, takes place for the last time in Hamburg, at Kampnagel.
1999: It transpires, that the Alabama Cinema, which was closed during the reconstruction phase, cannot be re-opened for the time being.
October 1999: The governing body appoints the founder and director of the EUROKAZ Festival (Zagreb) and, up until now, director of the theatre at the Chapter Arts Centre (Cardiff), Gordana Vnuk, as the new director of Kampnagel, starting from the 2001/2002 season.
August 2000: Change in commercial direction: Tessa Beecken, up until now head scheduler and deputy manager of the Aachen Theatre, takes office as the successor to Jack F. Kurfess. Res Bosshart stays on as artistic director until 2001.
August/September 2001: Gordana Vnuk introduces herself to the audience for the first time, with the new Kampnagel Summer Festival, LAOKOON. In 2002, the Japanese theatre expert, Hidenaga Otori, takes over the artistic direction of the festival for three years.
September 2001: The long-term future of Kampnagel is secured by the completion of a tenancy agreement with the Sprinkenhof AG, for a period of 15 years.
5th October 2001: Gordana Vnuk opens her first season with a spectacular European premiere – the Japanese group ISHINHA present their Jan-Jan opera "Ryusei".
November 2001: The Alabama cinema is re-opened
December 2001: The new building for the restaurant "Casino", based on the designs of architect Godber v. Bernstorff and furnished by Atelier Centrale, is completed and inaugurated.
2003: The gallery [kx] leaves the Kampnagel premises and purchases new rooms in the North of the city.
2003: The cultural authorities extend Gordana Vnuks’ contract until 2007.
2005: The Columbian dancer and choreographer Alvaro Restrepo takes over the artistic direction of the Summer Festival LAOKOON.
2006: The governing body appoints Amelie Deuflhard, up until now director of the Sophiensaele (Berlin), as the new director of Kampnagel, starting from the 2007/2008 season.
2006: Gordana Vnuk curates her final Summer Festival in the same way that she directed her first one, and by doing so concludes the cycle of the LAOKOON-Festival. With this, she achieves a visitor record of over 15,000 guests.