Ohnsorg Theatre Hamburg

The traditional Ohnsorg Theatre receives a new home in the Bieberhaus, a building dating back to 1908 – 1910 and in close proximity to Hamburg’s central train station and Schauspielhaus. Bieberhaus is a large Kontor building that, with its former cinema, themed restaurant and shops, has always been an entertainment venue. This tradition continues with the arrival of the Ohnsorg Theatre: a new auditorium with 420 seats, a studio theatre, a spacious foyer with café, as well as offices for administration and management are integrated into the listed Bieberhaus. The new theatre space is a monolithic structure, created as a “house within a house” and deliberately positioned at a distance from the interior wall of the original building. The crystalline form of the theatre hall is derived from the arrangement of the existing columns. At the centre is the classical auditorium with stalls and balconies, which allows the audience to be much closer to the action on stage as the original venue. In order to counteract the vibrations of the nearby central station and to improve acoustics, the stage and stalls are each placed on springs. In the foyer the minimalist design of the inserted structure contrasts with the colour and structure of its surroundings. With its large open staircase the foyer wraps around the theatre space on two levels, acting as a link between old and new, as well as inside and outside. An interesting tension exists between the original historic building and the new dynamic structure of the theatre hall. The businesses above and adjacent to the theatre continue to operate during the completion of the project.

Size: 5.300 m² GFA
Cost: approx. 13.090.000 EUR
Services: LPH 1-9
Dates: Completion 2011
Use: Theatre, Administration, Catering
Client: Alstria office REIT-AG

BDA Hamburg Prize for Architecture, Recognition, 2012
AIV – Building of the Year 2011

Photos: Hagen Stier