Yorck Kino Passage by Batek Architekten

Batek Architekten renovates historic cinema in pastel and earth-coloured hues

German studio Batek Architekten has refurbished Yorck Kino Passage, one of the oldest cinemas in Berlin, adding a foyer bar with pistachio-coloured arches and covering its screening rooms in saturated colours.

The local studio wanted the renovation to pay respect to the original neoclassical style of the 1908 cinema, while still giving it a contemporary feel.

Interior of Passage cinema foyer
Decorative arches nod to the arched windows in the building's facade

The basic structure of the foyer in the 325-square-metre cinema, which has decorative stucco elements, is the original, as are the staircases and large cinema hall. Other rooms had been renovated and refurbished over the years.

Batek Architekten drew on the building's large arched windows when designing the new foyer bar, which has pistachio-green arches that contrast against the original linoleum floor's reddish-brown colour.

Pistachio-green arches in cinema bar
A pale pistachio-green hue elegantly contrasts dark wood

"The brown floor colour was specified due to monument protection and our resource-conservative approach," Batek Architekten founder Patrick Batek told Dezeen.

"This led to the general choice of earthy tones, but we chose the pistachio as a surprising addition."

Cork-clad cabinets in cinema foyer
Batek Architekten chose cork cladding for the cupboards

The studio also added a natural cork covering to the cupboards in the foyer, which has a number of practical advantages.

"The natural cork wall cladding was installed for acoustic reasons, it conceals the drinks storage and staff room spaces and allows for the hanging of posters and notices," Batek explained.

Velvet seating at Yorck Kino Passage cinema
Velvet fabric in green hues decorate the foyer

In addition, existing materials were reused as part of the renovation. Corten-steel cladding from the cinema's old bar was upcycled and reinstalled as panelling, edging and fitting elements of the new bar.

The studio also restored Yorck Kino Passage's brass light fittings and plaster moldings.

As well as making interventions in the foyer, which now also features seating covered in forest-green and spring-green velvet fabric, Batek Architekten renovated two of the cinema's smaller auditoriums.

Here, the team added intense, deep colours that they felt were suitable for the ambience of the screening rooms, using blue for one and red for the other.

Blue and yellow cinema auditorium
A dark Prussian blue creates a dramatic auditorium

"The auditoriums are in the basement of the building, and we wanted to create a more intimate atmosphere than in the original large lighter-coloured auditorium," Batek said.

"That's why we clad it in dark Prussian blue fabric which contrasts nicely with the warm glow of the yellow-upholstered seating rows."

Red cinema auditorium in Berlin
The studio added a deep red colour to the second screening room

A more traditional colour was chosen for the second room.

"The other screening room is an interpretation of the classic cinema interior with a range of reds from rust to crimson covering walls and seating alike," Batek explained.

The studio also installed new podiums in the two auditoriums to create optimal visibility.

Red cinema auditorium
One screening room nods to classic cinema interiors

Batek Architekten has a history of designing cinema interiors – having previously completed the Kino Delphi Lux cinema for the same client and refurbished the historic Blauer Stern cinema in Berlin.

Among the studio's other designs in the city is a duplex townhouse comprised of stacked cubes.

The photography is by Marcus Wend.