Barkow Leibinger

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

Reception area of the Schaubühne Berlin

In spring 2018 the reception area of the Schaubühne Berlin underwent a redesign and expansion following the plans by Barkow Leibinger. Since 1981, Schaubühne Berlin has been housed on Lehniner Platz. Designed by Erich Mendelsohn to be Berlin’s largest cinema at the time, the horseshoe-shaped building was severely damaged during World War II. From 1946, it was gradually rebuilt and went through various transformations, including a dance club and a venue for musical theater. From 1978 to 1981, the Berlin architect Jürgen Sawade converted the building into a multifunctional state-of-the-art theater building and stage for the Schaubühne ensemble.

As part of Barkow Leibinger’s redesign, a new box office was created on the premises of the former “Universum Lounge”, west of the main entrance. The plan picks up on an unrealized design concept by Jürgen Sawade for a restaurant that was initially planned for the space: a central, elongated piece of furniture, here incorporating an open box office counter and a bench that follows the curved geometry of the building. As a counterpart, low benches are incorporated into the window recesses facing Kurfürstendamm. A long, curved light box above the central bench and several monitors and display surfaces embedded into the back wall and the counter provide space for engaging content on current programming alongside ticket sale information. Next to the counter a small back office was built.

The cylindrical former ticket booth by Jürgen Sawade is now used as a bar and point of sale for publications. An open, round counter resulted from removing the surrounding glass and the closed, semicircular back. A new accent to the space is a circular lighting element made from acrylic glass, floating like a crystalline cloud above the bar while providing atmospheric lighting via myriad refractions amongst its 835 individual tubes.

The aim of the renovation was to bring into unison the functional and technical demands of a contemporary theater box office with the characteristic design features of the listed building, utilizing careful interventions to preserve as much as possible while carrying forward the formal language of the original 1930s design.

Project Information


Barkow Leibinger, Berlin

Frank Barkow, Regine Leibinger



Antje Steckhan (Project Architect), Jens Weßel, Andreas Moling, Reidar Mester (Model, Implementation Lighting Element)


Box Office, Bar



Berlin, Germany



80 sq m 



11/2017 – 03/2018



© Simon Menges, Berlin, Germany


Schaubühne am Lehniner Platz Gemeinnützige Theaterbetriebs GmbH, Berlin, Germany

Berliner Immobilienmanagement (BIM), Berlin, Germany


Lighting Design
Licht Kunst Licht AG, Berlin, Germany (Consulting)

Construction Bar
Uwe Küttner Möbelbau und Inneneinrichtung GmbH, Berlin, Germany

Construction Box Office
Tischlerei Sekura, Königs Wusterhausen mit Voit & Partner GmbH & Co.KG, Nahetal-Waldau, Germany