Germany, Berlin 

New Tempodrom


Consultancy 1999 – 1st Price
Design Meinhard von Gerkan
Project management Stephan Schütz
Design team Nicolas Pomränke, Doris Schäffler, Kristian Uthe-Spencker
Project team Ulrike Bruttloff, Nicolas Pomränke, Matthias Wiegelmann, Wilfried Schoo, Helga Reimund, Patrick Pfleiderer, Johannes Erdmann
Structural engineering Steel Krupp Stahlbau
Structural engineering Socle building Ingenieurbüro Krentel, Berlin
Consultant Roof Schlaich Bergermann und Partner, Stuttgart
Technical building equipment Energie System Technik, Berlin
Acoustics BeSB Schalltechnisches Büro, Berlin
Light planning Conceptlicht Helmut Angerer, Traunreut
Landscape design Krafft-Wehberg, Berlin
Client Stiftung Neues Tempodrom
Construction period 1999–2001
Gross area 12,400 m²
Volume 88,000 m³



Christian Gahl

Marcus Bredt

In 1980 the then nurse Irene Moessinger and some of her friends founded the Tempodrom at Potsdamer Platz as an unconventional cultural institution. The Tempodrom consisted of a large big top with a capacity for up to 3,000 visitors and a smaller tent for 500 people. An extraordinary variety of cultural events took place in the Tempodrom and approximately 200,000 spectators visited the Tempodrom each season.

After changing its location twice the Tempodrom was opened in December 2001 as a permanent structure on the site of the former Anhalter Bahnhof.

Public life, which in former days defined this place as "gateway to the south", will now return with the realization of the new Tempodrom building. The super-ordinate aim of the urban planning concept was the definition of the building itself as a public and accessible square around the tent structure.

The New Tempodrom responds to these planning aims in form of a wide flight of stairs in the north, into which the entrance to the foyer at ground level is cut as a large opening. The flight of stairs leads up to a wood clad roof terrace, which functions as a beer garden in summer, and then descends to the former platforms. The concept’s openness allows for a public accessibility.

The outstanding structural feature is the 37 m high roof construction above the Large Arena, with daylight entering through the glazed opening in its zenith. Largescale glazing on the façade areas below the roof ridges generates an intensive relation between the interior and the roof terrace with a view to the surrounding park.

The expressive roof form creates a visual focal point in the heterogeneous urban surrounding, thus conveying orientation and clarity. The symbolic form is a constructive interpretation of the phenomenon, which has characterized the identity of the Tempodrom for all visitors and patrons in the past – the experience of the tent atmosphere.

The folded plate roof consists of a stiffened load-bearing steel structure from main and secondary beams as well as 12 cm thick precast concrete slabs, insulation and a white roof film that simultaneously forms the external roof membrane. The structure rests on twelve cylindrical steel supports, transferring the load through to the base construction.

The internal steel structure cladding is a two-layer plasterboard shell, providing the fire protection for the steel components and acting as sound insulation due to its acoustic separation allowing for an independent vibration. Sound-absorbing strips of wooden acoustic boards are fixed on the black painted plasterboard shell.

The interior finish of the Large Arena (maximum 3,800 spectators) deliberately evades any definite interpretation and functional assignment.
The Small Arena (maximum 400 seats) offers a similar openness for a wide spectrum of different events, and can either be used as an extended foyer or as intimate event hall. It can be separated from the adjoining foyer with moveable partition walls.

The Liquidrom is the third event hall with a water basin, vaulted with a domed concrete shell incorporating a top light in its zenith. Up to 50 visitors lying in lukewarm salt water can enjoy an impressive concert experience with light installations and underwater loudspeakers.

Besides the described activities, there is also a restaurant with 70 seats as well as four lecture rooms for a total of approximately 150 participants.

Whilst the spectacular roof characterizes the appearance of the Tempodrom towards the outside, the deliberately modest selection of materials defines the interior. Most walls and ceilings are finished with fair-faced concrete. The floors are primarily finished with polished poured asphalt. In the Liquidrom natural materials are used primarily.

The new building at Anhalter Bahnhof is sponsored within the environmental aid programme of the European Union. Therefore the building was finished with an extraordinary thermal quality. The necessary technical installations for the continuous operation have also been optimised according to ecological criteria.