Renovation of the Historic Schauspielhaus Bochum

The Schauspielhaus Bochum has 811 seats and was built in 1914 from the ruined Varieté - Theater Apollo on Königsallee at the corner of Oskar - Hoffmann - Straße. After the theatre was almost completely destroyed in 1944, it was reopened in its present form in 1953 according to plans by the Berlin architect Gerhard Moritz Graubner.

Numerous renovations have been carried out in the past decades: first, in 1979 / 1980, the lower machinery received large lifting platforms and a movable revolving stage, and steel girders weighing several tons with machine hoists were installed in the lacing floor. From 1998 to 2000, the upper machinery with a total of 98 drive axles and the iron curtain drive, including scenic use, were renewed. Further measures to secure the fall, shearing, and crushing hazards of the lower machinery and the installation of computer-aided control of the upper and lower machinery followed. However, the drive technology of the lower machinery has been retained during the extensive renovation work so far.

The aim of the new construction measures was to renew the drive technology, which had become outdated and was susceptible to failure, and to adapt a total of three orchestra platforms and three lowering tables to current regulations, standards, and requirements. The renovations were carried out in two construction phases in 2020 / 2021 by the internationally active full-service provider for theatre stage technology SBS Bühnentechnik GmbH.

In order to meet the challenges of the listed building measures, which protect the existing stock in the building, it was decided to install the Rigid Chain systems from SERAPID. On the largest of the three orchestra podiums, a total of 4 LinkLift 80Rs lift the 36 m2 platform over a height of just under 4 metres. Two other podiums are also driven by a total of 12 LinkLifts 80. Extremely tight installation conditions and a limited dimensional situation required an extremely compact design of the new drive components in the lower machinery. The SERAPID systems were able to master this challenge and successfully integrate the new drive technology into the existing building structure. With a clever solution, it was even possible to integrate a so-called trailing floor into the system as an additional, usable surface for a podium (OP2). In this case, the primary lifting drives of the orchestra podium take along another lifting floor docked at a defined position, thus creating a flexible double-decker podium.

SERAPID offers customised solutions for vertical and horizontal load transfer. Only the push chain technology developed by us is used. (Rigid Chain Technology, RCT). The technology is based on unique chains whose links interlock positively and non-positively and, under forward pressure, form an expanding rigid drive link that pushes the load or pushes it upwards. The passive part of the chain, i.e. the return, remains flexible and can be deflected, rolled up, and stored in a very compact and space-saving way at floor level or in unused space. The purely mechanical actuators are characterised by reliability, durability, and energy efficiency. Applications range from automotive production and rapid tool change on forming presses to stage technology and building dynamics to medical technology.

Exterior color photo courtesy of © Hans Jürgen Landes

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