Barkow Leibinger

Barkow Leibinger
Schillerstraße 94, D–10625 Berlin
T +49(0)30 315712 -0 F -29

Reception of the Schaubühne am Lehniner Platz

Beginning in the Spring of 2018, the reception area of Berlin’s Schaubühne am Lehniner Platz is to be renovated and expanded. Barkow Leibinger has planned a renovation for the striking, horseshoe-shaped rotunda, originally designed by Erich Mendelsohn in 1928 as the largest movie theater in Berlin and rebuilt after the Second World War. In 1981, architect Jürgen Sawade completed a renovation of the theater into a multifunctional stage and performance venue for the Schaubühne Ensemble. The entire building is now a registered landmark.

The ongoing renovations follow a careful design concept, maintaining and strengthening the existing building’s singular design features. This strategy ensures a combination of the technical and programmatic necessities of a contemporary theater with the building’s landmarked unique character. For example, a generous ticketing and entrance foyer will replace the ad hoc temporary exhibition space in the former „Universum-Lounge“ in the main west entrance.

Additionally, Barkow Leibinger’s design incorporates portions of Schwade’s original design intent for a restaurant in this space: a central long piece of furniture with open registers and benches following the curved geometry of the building. Flat benches will be integrated into window niches opposite towards the large main avenue Kufürstendamm. Light boxes and screens display program and ticket information.

The existing box office will become a bar and kiosk for purchasing various publications. The glazing and closed backside will be removed in order to reveal an open counter and, constructed in-house in Barkow Leibinger’s workshop, a custom circular lighting element made of 600 acrylic tubes imbues the space with an atmospheric lighting. 

Project Information


Barkow Leibinger, Berlin

Frank Barkow, Regine Leibinger



Antje Steckhan (Project Architect)



Reception, Ticket Office, Bar



Berlin, Germany



80 sq m 



11/2017 – 02/2018



Schaubühne am Lehniner Platz