Mehr! Theater at the Großmarkt*, Hamburg

The Project

Building a theater means dealing with the pressure of deadlines, since the tickets for the first performances are already sold when the preliminary building works are still being executed. The deadline must be strictly met to the exact day. We have proven with a number of theater buildings that we can withstand this deadline pressure.


Our latest theater project is the Mehr! Theater in one of the historically protected halls of the Großmarkt in Hamburg. Similar to the Großmarkt hall of the European Central Bank (ECB), a steel structure had to be built beneath an existing historically-protected roof. Compared to the Großmarkt hall of the ECB, the construction of the Mehr! Theater was even more complicated, since, due to the still lower load capacity of the existing floor, only mini-cranes with a net weight of no more than 5 t could be used. These cranes lift a maximum of 700 kg to a height of 20 m. However, there was a total 440 t of steel construction to be installed. Included in this total were the terraced seating areas (parquet and balcony), a 20 m high partition to divide the Großmarkt hall, holding girders in the basement, various staircases, and two steel arches as the support of a grid-plane above the stage.


Particularly noteworthy are the implementation planning, fabrication, and installation of two steel arches that were designed as a three-hinged arch with a span of 46 m and a rise of 20 m.


Each of these arches has a weight of 62 t and sheathed the existing reinforced concrete arches at a distance of only a few centimeters. Seven 34 m long trusses hang from both arches at different heights, which, with additional crossbeams, form the so-called grid level to which the entire stage equipment was later attached.


Installation of the arches, including the trusses, was very expensive due to the boundary conditions. We therefore developed an assembly concept involving only the utilization of mini-crane devices with which one half of an arch (31 t) could be assembled at a time. So that the arch elements could be transported into the room despite the low bearing capacity of the floor, two special vehicles were designed. These vehicles distributed the loads over a wide area and were also used for the alignment of the arches.


*wholesale market hall