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Berliner Kriminal Theater in Berlin Friedrichshain
infornt of the Berliner Kriminal Theater © Berliner Kriminal Theater

Umspannwerk Ost

From electrifying voltage to exciting entertainment

Danger, high voltage! This impressive three-storey building on Palisadenstraße is one of the oldest references to Berlin's power supply system.

It was from here that the neighbouring districts were supplied with power until the plant's closure in 1945. Culture behind the listed façade Today's visitors to the Umspannwerk Ost (meaning Substation East) can expect excitement, entertainment and great food: behind the listed historic façade lies the Berliner-Kriminal-Theater ('Criminal' Theatre), the theatre and jazz club with its own "dinner show" and a restaurant. The restoration of the building was respectful of its history, so its former use as a substation is easily recognisable throughout: wide machine halls on which steel beams are aligned and six meter high gates made from steel and glass and flooded with light, as well as the undivided levels in the top floors and the clinker brick walls. Hints of the building's previous industrial use Set back from the building line by around ten meters, this building was originally built for use as a substation between 1899 and 1900 according to designs by architect Oskar Springmann. It was modified soon after in 1908. The street-side façade style uses elements of Renaissance architecture and conveys the message that this building is intended for business. The large round arched windows in the machine hall on the ground floor are evidence of the building's technical nature.