The building in the reception
A “third place” – spaces of encounter and balance between family and work life, as first postulated by sociologist Ray Oldenburg in 1989 – was Hans Scharoun’s Staatsbibliothek (State Library) from the very beginning. It works even without books, because as a place to see and be seen there are hardly more suitable and prestigious in Berlin. Its cafeteria was – and still is – cult; and the first couples who met and fell in love among the shelves of the reading room in the 1980s have long since passed on their affection for the library to their children. As a location, Scharoun’s reading room can be used in many ways: for concerts and spectacular photography, for stagings and performances. Its appeal to artists of all stripes attests to the building’s fascination far beyond its primary functions “for research and culture”.