Hansa Tonstudio

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Hansa Studios
Berlin, Kreuzberg, Koethener Strasse 38, Meistersaal.jpg
Facade on Köthener Strasse
AddressKöthener Strasse 38, Berlin 10963, Germany
Coordinates52°30′23.2″N 13°22′38.97″E / 52.506444°N 13.3774917°E / 52.506444; 13.3774917
Typerecording studio

Hansa Tonstudio is a recording studio located in the Kreuzberg district of Berlin, Germany. The studio, famous for its Meistersaal recording hall, is situated approximately 150 metres from the former Berlin Wall, giving rise to its former nicknames of "Hansa Studio by the Wall" or "Hansa by the Wall".

The Meistersaal has been fully restored and is now used for concerts and other events as well as recording.


The studio was originally built in 1913 as a guildhall for the Berlin Builder’s Society and was later used as a cabaret and chamber music concert hall during the Weimar era.

The Hansa Records label was founded in 1962 (one year after the building of the Berlin Wall) by brothers Peter and Thomas Meisel in the Wilmersdorf quarter of West Berlin. From 1965, they temporarily rented the Ariola production facilities in the Meistersaal location but also built their own Studio I on Nestorstrasse in the Halensee neighbourhood, which opened in 1973. Nevertheless, Hansa had to abandon its own production facilities the next year, and from 1974 again rented the Meistersaal location (Studio II) on Köthener Strasse.

Meanwhile, the Meistersaal, noted for its outstanding acoustics, was used not only for light music productions but also for classical music recordings. In the early and mid-1980s, all productions were overseen by English record producer Michael Blakey. The studios have played host to many well-known acts, including Tangerine Dream, David Bowie, Brian Eno, Iggy Pop, U2, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Claw Boys Claw, Depeche Mode, Marillion, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Killing Joke, Boney M. and most recently Manic Street Preachers, R.E.M., Snow Patrol, Kent, Living Things and Go Go Berlin. Bowie is said to have written Heroes at a window of the studio, from which he saw his producer, Tony Visconti, kiss backing vocalist Antonia Maass, an image that made it into the song's lyrics.

The number of notable recordings and the acoustic quality, especially that of the Meistersaal, have given the studio near legendary status, especially within the post-punk and synthpop genres.

References in popular culture

Martin Gore recorded Depeche Mode's "Somebody" naked in the Meistersaal.

Anton Corbijn shot parts of the video for U2's "One" at Hansa.

In 2018, the studio was the subject of a documentary feature by filmmaker Mike Christie titled Hansa Studios: By The Wall 1976-90, which aired across Europe on Sky Arts and Sky Arte.

Selected recordings


External links

Coordinates: 52°30′23″N 13°22′38″E / 52.5063°N 13.3771°E / 52.5063; 13.3771