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Foyer of the Berlin Philharmonic
Foyer of the Hotel Oriental (Bangkok)
Foyer in the Volkstheater Munich at the awarding of the Great Karl Valentin Prize, 2010

A foyer (French foyer = fireplace, stove , focal point , after the Latin focus ; also lobby ) is a large anteroom in a public building, especially in an opera house , theater , concert hall , cinema or hotel . Functionally, the foyer does not differ from the vestibule , but formally: vestibules are mostly rooms with high ceilings, grandiose structures and elaborate designs.

The foyer is usually accessible as an entrance hall or reception hall directly from the entrance of the building and often has an integrated cloakroom . It serves the stay and the communication of the audience during breaks (function of the pump room); Occasionally, refreshments and a small snack are served there.

In French , the word foyer is not used in the sense of an anteroom or lobby. There it is used to mean the home of a family or group, also as foyer pour enfants , the French term for children's home.

From lounge to social parquet

In France , foyers were originally heated lounges in the theater, where the actors could warm up and change. In the 18th century, the term was also transferred to the foyer for the audience, which was separated from the stage area; after all, he was only referring to this part of the theater. The foyer became a social place to see and be seen and almost more important than the stage itself. In 1752 a magnificent foyer was integrated into the new opera house of the French king in Versailles for the first time .

In the 19th century, the foyer developed into a dominant part of theater architecture and a meeting point for society in a city: relationships were established, business was initiated, there was gossip and flirting: it was not uncommon for the “theater” in the foyer to steal the show from the actual play. Reports from France soon made the term popular and at home in German too. An example of a particularly magnificent foyer is that of the Burgtheater in Vienna .

The foyer is often important as a place for the break-up conversations for the success or failure of a stage performance, and occasionally it is decisive, since critics can hear the opinion of the premiere audience here and often include this in their reviews.

Foyer in public buildings

Today, “foyer” is also understood to mean the large changing halls in the entrance area of ​​public buildings such as town halls , libraries or parliament buildings . Particularly large foyers such as the 1800 square meter foyer of the Jahrhunderthalle in Frankfurt am Main are also used for congresses and meetings , art exhibitions and press conferences .

Special foyer

The “Foyer at the Gedächtniskirche” in Berlin is a social support and advice facility of the Protestant Church . Literature in the foyer is a book show with Thea Dorn on SWR .


"Between the acts [...] those who are not yet provided for this evening wander around in a beautiful, large hall called the foyer." ( August von Kotzebue , Memories from Paris, 1804)

See also


Web links

Commons : Lobbies (room)  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Foyer  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations