Photo: Thomas Bartilla and Foto: Thomas Bartilla

Staatsoper Unter den Linden

Staatsoper Unter den Linden

When re-designing the auditorium back in the 1950s, architect Richard Paulick did not change the ceiling height of the original building by Knobelsdorff. The resulting volume of 6,500 m³ brought about a resonance time of as little as 1.1 seconds. The changing listening habits of the modern audience necessitated the installation of electroacoustic equipment to extend the resonance in 1996. For this latest complete refurbishment the architects and acousticians were charged with getting rid of the "heart-lung machine", as Musical Director Daniel Barenboim calls it, and increasing the resonance time from 1.1 to 1.6 seconds. Raising the ceiling by about 5 meters increases the volume of the auditorium by almost half the previous volume, which achieves the desired resonance time. The raised ceiling also creates new space above the tiers of seats. This space, the so-called "resonance gallery" is important for acoustics. To close this space, an optically closed, but acoustically transparent latticework which "takes up existing motifs and transcribes them into a contemporary design and materiality, thus neither ingratiating nor brashly contrasting, but gently fitting into the existing structure, in sympathy with the historic building," to quote the State Office for Historical Monuments.

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  • Title: Ceiling
  • Creator: Photo: Thomas Bartilla, Foto: Thomas Bartilla