BATEK ARCHITEKTEN completes renovation of Yorck Cinema “Blauer Stern“ in Berlin

Blauer Stern

The blue star shines again. BATEK ARCHITEKTEN have given fresh sparkle to the historic Berlin arthouse cinema “Blauer Stern“ (Blue Star) by modernization. With a sensitive approach to existing spaces, which is typical of the Berlin architecture firm.

BATEK ARCHITEKTEN adapted the premises of “Blauer Stern“ – a cinema venue since 1933 – to today‘s requirements of cinema operations by targeted interventions. The resulting spatial concept is stringently thought out, colorful as well as functional, and creates a striking framework for the cinematic experience.

As part of the renovations, the foyer was expanded, the two auditoriums refurbished, and the sound insulation improved. The building, dating from 1870, originally served as a dance hall for an
out-of-town venue. The first cinema, originally called the “Bismark Lichtspiele”, opened here in 1933 but since 1946 it has been known as “Blauer Stern” (Blue Star) – as the nostalgic blue neon sign above the entrance confirms.

For the past few years this movie theatre in the district of Berlin-Pankow has belonged to the Yorck Kinogruppe. But whereas with the Delphi Lux the architects had a newly-built space to play with, the task with the Blauer Stern was to use targeted interventions to adapt the old building to the requirements of a contemporary cinema business.

By removing a glass partition in the foyer, the architects were able to use the space gained to create a generous entrance area with a long, curved bench and wide counter. The irregular structure of the main auditorium was unified with a row of rounded arches.

Its walls are covered in colourfully-printed fabric whose pattern BATEK ARCHITEKTEN based on an artwork called “Lange Reise” (“Long Journey”) by Mechtild van Ahlers, which hangs in the foyer. Scaled up to wall size in the auditorium, the red tones of floral and cloud-like forms float across a deep blue background.

The curtain, ceiling and corridor are saturated in powerful red tones, typical for cinemas. The same colour is echoed again in the velvet of the seating, the counter and a mobile snack bar in the foyer. The walls here are bicoloured: the bottom two metres are painted deep aubergine and above in pale grey.

The architects’ lighting design was inspired by the historical mouldings of the foyer ceiling whose graphic lozenge pattern has been partially traced with suspended LED light tracks. The diagonal pattern of the light tracks continues along the corridor leading to the two auditoriums. The glamour of the big, wide world of cinema shines again in Pankow, under the sign of the blue star. Source and photos Courtesy of BATEK ARCHITEKTEN.

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