With its living roof, the Max-Schmeling-Halle has been a “green bridge” connecting the Berlin neighbourhoods of Prenzlauer Berg and Wedding since 1996. Architect Jörg Joppien’s design, part of the Berlin’s bid for the 2000 Olympic Games, is a three-aisled complex that covers an area of over 38,565 m² and was largely integrated into mountains of rubble left over from the Second World War. Originally designed to host sporting events, the building is now a multi-functional arena, also serving as a concert venue.

Initially, rows of fixed seating with sheet-metal chair shells were installed in the arena. Due to the planned heavy use, a budget had been set aside from the start to renew the seats after 25 years. The committee responsible for the refit was won over by Thonet’s individual solution, specifically tailored to the needs of the arena, and by the company’s use of natural materials. The furniture from the Frankenberg-based company with its “Made in Germany” label was an easy choice, as its durability and exceptional quality are the perfect fit for the sustainable design concept of Jörg Joppien. Even after years of constant use, furniture pieces from Thonet show only minimal signs of wear, and those items that do show signs of damage can be repaired directly in the company’s own factory. Thus, unlike the original seating from 25 years ago, the seating from Thonet will never have to be completely replaced.

A total of more than 10,000 installed seats from Thonet

Chairs (special variant): S 262 P
Chairs (special variant): S 262 P
Chairs (special variant): S 262 P

The more than 10,000 newly installed Thonet S 462 chairs – in various versions with wooden shells or seats and backrests, both in the tiers and on the arena floor – give the venue a cosy atmosphere. The S 462 model meets the strict requirements of event seating and ergonomic design, and conforms to modern minimalist aesthetics. The upholstery, which was specially created for the Max-Schmeling-Halle, mirrors a Mexican wave.

The auditorium is equipped with 2,200 S 462 P chairs, a stackable design that provides flexibility in how the space is used. The seat depth was reduced to 50 cm to allow nine different seating arrangements with varying audience capacity. In the tiers, Thonet installed approximately 6,000 special editions of the same chair, but with a fixed seat shell made of beech. An additional 2,000 folding chairs with upholstered seats and backrests are used on the pull-out stands.

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