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The visitors were impressed by the simplistic and modern aesthetics of the theatre

Neptunus creates a temporary theatre as Berlin’s oldest concert hall closes for renovations

The Assignment
The Maxim Gorki Theatre is located in Berlin’s oldest concert building which dates back to 1791. During the Second World War performances were halted when the hall was badly damaged. It was subsequently taken over in 1947 by the occupying Soviet forces who transformed it into a center for the celebration of Soviet culture.

The theatre was renamed in 1952 after the Soviet writer Maxim Gorky and over the years has hosted numerous productions based on the works of many of the world’s leading playwrights, including Checkov and Shakespeare.

Over two centuries old, the famous concert hall is now undergoing a major refurbishment programme with complex renovations that will take at least 20 months to complete.  Keen to ensure that productions can still be staged during the remedial works, the theatre’s owners turned to temporary structure specialists Neptunus to provide a solution to their problem.

The Solution
Neptunus‘ design team came up with the perfect answer in the shape of a unique temporary theatre which has been created in an ingenious, modular and demountable building erected on land adjacent to the Maxim Gorki Theatre.

The Gorki ‘Container’, as it has been christened, was developed from Neptunus’ state-of-the-art Flexolution technology.  A 264 square meter temporary structure and which stands nine metres high incorporates a mobile stage and flexible grandstand seating for up to 200 spectators. A Flexolution II structure measuring 270 square metres and four metres in height provides the entrance and a back stage area along with space for the heating installation. The walls are branded with Gorki’s theater schedule.

It took a 12-strong team of technicians from Neptunus just four weeks to construct the contemporary structure that was officially opened on August 18th, 2019, for the premiere of the new show “Herzstück”.

Once the permanent building’s restoration programme has been completed, the temporary theatre will be dismantled and returned to Neptunus to be used for further assignments. This may see it applied elsewhere as a temporary supermarket or sports hall – such is the amazing versatility of Neptunus’ temporary building technology.

The Challenge
Neptunus’ design team were asked to come up with something very different and contemporary while technicians had to construct the temporary theatre in a busy area of the city, adjacent to the U-Bahn, fast and efficiently, to meet the deadline for the opening performance. Neptunus provided a turn-key solution for a unique project.

The Verdict
Following two successful premieres in the ‘Container’, Thomas Kirsten, Technical Director of the Maxim Gorki Theatre, said: “The visitors were impressed by the simplistic and modern aesthetics of the theatre. Gorki Container is not for just an interim solution for us, it is a model for future temporary theatres. It’s highly flexible with the capability for the mobile stage and grandstand to be adjusted in size and the temporary stage is as big as the stage in the existing theatre.”

Pictures: © Ute Langkafel MAIFOTO

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