Sony Center

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Sony Center
Sony Center
The Sony Center displays a "cyberpunk corporate urban (futuristic)" aesthetic.[1]
General information
Town or cityBerlin
Construction started1995
Opened14 June 2000; 21 years ago (2000-06-14)
Design and construction
ArchitectHelmut Jahn
Peter Walker (landscape architect)
Architecture firmPWP Landscape Architecture
Structural engineerOve Arup & Partners
Services engineerJaros, Baum & Bolles (JB&B)
Other designersWaagner-Biro

The Sony Center is a Sony-sponsored complex of eight buildings[2] located at the Potsdamer Platz in Berlin, Germany designed by Helmut Jahn.[3] It opened in 2000 and houses Sony's German headquarters.


In the early 20th century, the site was originally home to Berlin's bustling city center. During World War II, it was the location of the infamous Nazi People's Court. Most of the buildings in its vicinage were destroyed or damaged during World War II. From 1961 onwards, most of the area became part of the "No Man's Land" of the Berlin Wall, resulting in the destruction of the remaining buildings. After the fall of the Berlin Wall on 9 November 1989, the square became the focus of attention again, as a large (some 60 hectares), attractive location in the heart of a major European capital city had suddenly become available.

As part of a redevelopment effort for the area, the space was to be developed. In 1992, Sony acquired the 30,000-square-meter (320,000 sq ft) site from the Berlin city government for 97.2 million German marks, about $61.6 million. Shortly after, the European Commission briefly investigated whether Sony paid less than the market price.[4] Over the following years, a total of eight buildings were designed by Helmut Jahn and Peter Walker as landscape architect and construction was completed in 2000 at a total cost of 750 million euros.

The iconic 4,000m² vaulted roof covering the central open area between the main buildings was engineered and built by Waagner-Biro using steel, glass and translucent fabric.[5]

In February 2008 Sony sold the Sony Center for less than 600 million euros to a group of German and US investment funds, including investment bank Morgan Stanley, Corpus Sireo and an affiliate of The John Buck Company.[6] The group sold the Sony Center to the National Pension Service of South Korea for 570 million euros in 2010.[7][8] In 2017, Oxford Properties and Madison International Realty acquired the complex for close to 1.1 billion euros.[9]


The Sony Center contains a mix of shops, restaurants, a conference center, hotel rooms, around 67 residential units,[10] offices, the Museum of Film and Television, a Legoland Discovery Center, and a "Sony Style" store. From 1999 until 2019, CineStar operated a cinema and an IMAX theater in the center.[11] Free Wi-Fi is available. During major sports events like the 2006 FIFA World Cup, it was also home to a large television screen on which the games were shown to viewers sitting in the large open area in the middle.

The Sony Center is located near Berlin Potsdamer Platz railway station, which can be accessed on foot. A large, covered shopping center, the Mall of Berlin, is nearby, as are many hotels, Deutsche Bahn central offices, along with an office building that is home to the fastest elevator in Europe.



  1. ^ Suzuki, David (2003). Good News for a Change:How Everyday People Are Helping the Planet. Greystone Books. p. 332. ISBN 978-1-55054-926-3.
  2. ^ Arno Schuetze (October 2, 2017), OMERS buys landmark Berlin property Sony Center for 1.1 billion euros Reuters.
  3. ^ "Architecture Sony Center". Retrieved 2018-04-15.
  4. ^ Inquiry on Sony Berlin Deal New York Times, February 5, 1992.
  5. ^ "Sony Center – Waagner Biro / Steel and Glass facades". Retrieved 2020-10-22.
  6. ^ Berlin's Sony Center Sells for Bargain Price | Germany | Deutsche Welle | 28.02.2008
  7. ^ "NPS Acquires Sony Center in Berlin – News & Views – Hines". Hines. Retrieved 2016-12-05.
  8. ^ Berlin, Berliner Morgenpost -. "Südkoreaner kaufen Berliner Sony Center". (in German). Retrieved 2016-12-05.
  9. ^ Aime Williams (October 2, 2017), Berlin’s Sony Centre sold for over €1bn Financial Times.
  10. ^ Aime Williams (October 2, 2017), Berlin’s Sony Centre sold for over €1bn Financial Times.
  11. ^ Peter Zander (December 30, 2019), CineStar im Sony Center schließt: Ein Verlust für die Stadt Berliner Morgenpost.

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Coordinates: 52°30′36″N 13°22′25″E / 52.51000°N 13.37361°E / 52.51000; 13.37361