Where the theater begins

A unique corrugated aluminum pavilion was built in front of the multifunctional entertainment center Mehr! Theater in Hamburg.
February 15, 2021
London-based architect studio Carmody Groarke has built an aluminium-clad ticket and hospitality building as a "distinctive counterpoint" to renowned Hamburg's 1960s Grossmarkt wholesale market.
The dot-shaped pavilion will act as an eye-catching visual marker for the Mehr! Theater, that operates within the Grossmarkt, protected historic building designed by Bernhard Hermkes. Renowned German architect Bernhard Hermkes constructed many of Hamburg's landmark buildings, such as the market halls and the Kennedy Bridge. In 2015 Grossmarkt became home for Mehr! Theater.
Image: Dezeen
Carmody Groarke aimed to create a structure that was a modern addition to the site without detracting from the original concrete market. Its low-lying profile also preserves views of the market and its distinctive roofline. The flow of large trucks and customers constantly visiting the area of one of the Germany's largest fresh produce market has formed the innovative circular shape of the new pavilion.
"The circular form allows market traffic to continue uninhabited; while in theatre mode, the building form acknowledges visitors arriving from lots of different parts of the site, so there is not necessarily a front or back," said Carmody Groarke architect Lukas Barry.
Image: Dezeen
The single-storey building contains amenities for the 1,700 seat theatre including a ticket office, restrooms and a large space for visitors to have refreshments at show intervals. "The exterior form is deliberately simple, intended not to give away too many clues to its interior hospitality functions; creating a dramatic moment for guests when entering," told Lukas Barry.


"The exterior of the pavilion is clad in a natural finished bright corrugated aluminium which pick up the tones of Hermkes' Grossmarkt, and subtly reflects the activity of the surrounding market as one moves around the pavilion," explained Barry. "Internally, the radial cross-laminated timber frame is left exposed, but treated with a black lacquered finish – creating a theatrical intimacy and a contrast to the vast Grossmarkt's forecourt," he added.
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