5dmkii, architecture, arena, Berlin, canon, concrete, Marg, panorama, Partner, show, tempodrom, Von Gerkan

I recently had the chance to photograph the architecture of one of the most well known event venues in Berlin, the Tempodrom. Located in the district of Kreuzberg, this striking building stands out for its modern architecture and strong unique lines. The album can be seen here, and a brief history of the building follows in the next paragraphs.
In 1980, Irene Moessinger inherited a large sum of money and with some friends founded the Tempodrom, near the Berlin Wall, for the purpose of staging unconventional performing arts events. After moving to a second location in 1984, the Tempodrom found a permanent residence on a vast, high-profile open site created by the demolition of the Anhalter train station, which was irreparably damaged during World War II.

Von Gerkan, Marg und Partner (GMP) designed the tent idea. The architects gave the performing arts center permanence by recreating the tent form in concrete, steel, and wood and stretching it to a height of more than 120 feet above the larger of the two arenas.

The large arena, with seating for 3,800, recalls the boisterousness of the circus—a container for bright lights, big sounds, and special effects for a variety of activities, including rock concerts and sports events. In contrast, the small arena seats a mere 400 and provides a more intimate setting for chamber music and staged readings. Radiating from these focal points, a series of tertiary spaces—entrances, a bistro, conference rooms, and lounge areas—share a low-key glamour rendered largely in fair-faced concrete with polished, poured asphalt floors.