A r c h i t e c t u r e

C o m m i s s i o n

AC Meeting October 23. – 25. 2010 Berlin Visited Projects

Schaubühne Lehniner Platz

The Schaubühne has been housed since 1981 in a building originally designed by the Berlin architect Erich Mendelsohn, who is among the most important German architects of the 20th century. Other noteworthy structures built by Mendelsohn are the Einstein Tower in Potsdam and the »Mossehaus« on Berlin’s Jerusalemer Straße. The architect died in 1953 in America.

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« Shortly before the end of the war the building was severely damaged by bombing. a shopping street. An early example of multi-use urban construction. designed for the screen premiere of films by Ufa (Universum Film AG). so that Mendelsohn’s interior was destroyed by fire and forever lost. cantilevered horseshoe-shaped hall containing 1800 seats. 1937-45 In 1937 a cinema operator named Willy Hein took over the »Universum. the so-called WOGA Complex contained apartment buildings. a café restaurant and a cabaret theater. Page 2 of 12 . The most distinctive structure of the group was the »Universum« Cinema. with a broad.A C - A r c h i t e c t u r e C o m m i s s i o n Building History: 1928 On the southern end of Lehniner Platz a group of structures was built which was intended to contain a microcosm of city functions. and the façade’s massive ventilation tower which juts out over the Kurfürstendamm boulevard like a ship’s keel.

In 1973 the »Studio« discontinued its operation as a movie house with Stanley Kubrick’s »A Clockwork Orange. It was perhaps the first time in the modern history of theater design that a theater space was constructed in accordance with the needs of the theater’s experienced practitioners. The cost of the conversion process totaled approximately 81 million German marks. developed under the aegis of the Berlin Senate. in 1950 the »Capitol« cinema was added in the former main hall. under constant dialogue in planning and construction between the theater and the architect. while also restoring its original exterior.« The Schaubühne had suffered a lack of space which made a move necessary. resulting in a sober but purposeful configuration. into one of the most technically advanced theaters in Germany. which had been downsized. The surrounding area between the Halensee and the Tauentzien became known as the »Broadway of Berlin.A C 1946-1952 - A r c h i t e c t u r e C o m m i s s i o n The architect Hermann Fehling was hired to do the building’s reconstruction. The newly designed building on Lehniner Platz. and just one year later to a musical-theater stage.« 1968-1973 In 1968 the »Capitol« was converted to an oversized Beatnik meeting space. The Mendelsohn building was placed under landmark protection in 1979. Page 3 of 12 . Decorative elements were sacrificed during this process in favour of functionality. After two years of work.« 1978-1981 From 1978-81 the architect Jürgen Sawade transformed the former »Universum« building. the »Studio« cinema was opened in the former front-of-house space. was to become the new home of the »Schaubühne am Halleschen Ufer.

Ostpreußen † 15.03.A C - A r c h i t e c t u r e C o m m i s s i o n Grid level after 1981 conversion The architect of the origin building Erich Mendelsohn * 21. From 1912 to 1914 he worked as an independent architect in Munich. Through her. as well as for developing a dynamic functionalism in his projects for department stores and cinemas. USA Erich Mendelsohn was a German Jewish architect. known for his expressionist architecture in the 1920s. Page 4 of 12 .1887 in Allenstein.09. he met the cello-playing astrophysicist Erwin Finlay Freundlich. In 1915 he married cellist Luise Maas.1953 in San Francisco.

In 1938. He also served as an advisor to the U. From 1941 until his death Mendelsohn lived in the United States and taught at the University of California. Page 5 of 12 . In England he began a business partnership with Serge Chermayeff. Army and the Standard Oil in order to build "German Village". Until the end of World War II his activities were limited by his immigration status to lectures and publications. which continued until the end of 1936. his name was struck from the list of the German Architects' Union. Freundlich wished to build an astronomical observatory suitable to experimentally confirm Einstein's Theory of Relativity. For instance. which would be of key importance in acquiring the know-how and experience necessary to carry out the firebombings on Berlin.S. the deputy director of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institut für Physikalische Chemie und Elektrochemie (now the Fritz Haber Institute of the Max Planck Society in the Dahlem district of Berlin. As a Jew. having already dissolved his London office. government. His not inconsiderable fortune was later seized by the Nazis. he took UK citizenship and shortening his English forename to "Eric". Mendelsohn had the opportunity to design and build the Einsteinturm ("Einstein Tower"). Berkeley. seeing the rise of antisemitic tendencies in Germany. all facades fashioned in limestone. later President of Israel. Mendelsohn had long known Chaim Weizmann. At the start of 1934 he began planning a series of projects on Weizmann's behalf in Mandate Israel under British rule and in 1935 opened a bureau in Jerusalem. and he was excluded from the Prussian Academy of Arts. Hat Factory in Luckenwalde Through his relationship with Freundlich.[1] In 1945 he established himself in San Francisco. in 1943 he collaborated with the U.S. he emigrated in the spring of 1933 to England. a set of replicas of typical German working class housing estates.A C - A r c h i t e c t u r e C o m m i s s i o n Freundlich was the brother of Herbert Freundlich. where he greatly influenced the local Jerusalem International Style. This relationship and also the family friendship with the Luckenwalde hat manufacturers Salomon and Gustav Herrmann helped Mendelsohn to an early success.

mostly for Jewish communities.A C - A r c h i t e c t u r e C o m m i s s i o n From then until his death in 1953 he undertook various projects. Sketch for the universal cinema which is now the Schaubuehne. Schaubuehne in 1981 Page 6 of 12 .

The seats are from folding and stackable. separated by a private street belong to the complex. The space floor of the single halls exists of 76 hydraulic scissor type elevators with a base of 7. B and C occurs by galvanized steel duplicate rolling gates from fire-resistant (rated F 90) to components with a sound proof rate from mind. There are 3 single rooms. called A. The whole interior area of the single halls has in 9.00 m or 6. 60 dB. according to the demands of the sound insulation and fire prevention. Page 7 of 12 . B. as a working cover and as a point of suspension for floodlight during of the play company it is used.00 m and Oregon-Pine-flooring. There are up to three stage performances in one.00 x 3. They allow to be lowered max.A C - A r c h i t e c t u r e C o m m i s s i o n Technical concept: In the show stage on the Lehniner place there is no more separation between to the spectator and stages area like in conventional theatres: The acting space is able at every place. C. with in the central nave to removable ones to gratings. Beside the theatrical main building several workshop buildings. or in different ones two evenings take place side by side. up to a metropolitan area for a great production. black painted steel pipe armchairs with a ground and rows connection.00 m below the entrance level with a concurrent dynamic loading capacity of 2500 N / m². Alternatively the rooms also are able to each other are added. 3. The division of the whole area in the halls A.00 m height about street level a steel construction. as a spectator or stages surface are used.

A C - A r c h i t e c t u r e C o m m i s s i o n Theatrical Layouts: Page 8 of 12 .

C Hall C Page 9 of 12 .A C - A r c h i t e c t u r e C o m m i s s i o n All 3 halls A.B.

A C - A r c h i t e c t u r e C o m m i s s i o n Hydraulic elevators Longitudinal section Page 10 of 12 .

A C - A r c h i t e c t u r e C o m m i s s i o n Main level with 76 elevators Stage risers to be positioned on main elevators 3 x 7 m Page 11 of 12 .

DM (approx.-. 40 Million Euro) Address: Schaubühne am Lehniner Platz Theaterbetriebs GmbH Kurfürstendamm 153 10709 Berlin Telefon (030) 89002-0 www.de Page 12 of 12 .000.000.A C - A r c h i t e c t u r e C o m m i s s i o n Construction time : 1978 till 1981 Costs: (1981) 81.schaubuehne.