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General information

  • Location address
    Am Markt 1, 36251 Bad Hersfeld
  • Location country
  • Year of construction
  • Year of dismantling
    1994, 2019
  • Year of replacement of membrane
  • Short description of the replacement or dismantling
    Originally built 1968, 1st replacement in 1994, actual replacement in 2019
  • Name of the client/building owner
    The FilamentFactory (formerly Performance Fibers)
  • Function of building
    Historical buildings & monuments
  • Degree of enclosure
    Open structure
  • Climatic zone
    Temperate - cold winters and mild summers
  • Number of layers
  • Type of application of the membrane
  • Primary function of the tensile structure
    • Rain protection
    • Sun protection


The convertible roof above the auditorium of the monastery ruins is a unique construction and was an architectural model for a variety of modern tent structures and roofs. Frei Otto was winner of an architectural competition for the festival cover in 1958. The project took 10 years to be put into reality. In 2018, the festival in Bad Hersfeld celebrated the 50th anniversary of the first installation. On this occasion the Bad Hersfeld-based company The FilamentFactory (formerly Performance Fibers) offered a special gift: a new edition of the membrane roof.

25 years earlier the cover was replaced for the first time. Whereas the first change was done by Stromeyer, the actual replacement was manufactured and installed by Munich based globally active membrane specialist Velabran. Both renewals were of course done along the original design. The first and the second roof lasted remarkably long considering that the material had to endure a lot of movement. It is opened and closed at short notice and must withstand any weather condition. It is operated by 21 engines which are still the first set of machines from the original construction. They run along a cable net which interlinks the seven high points. The fabric has about 1.500m². Between May and September it is installed above the audience, off season it is maintained thoroughly and stored in a container.

The festival’s organizing team and the audience appreciate that it still feels like sitting in an open air environment whereas a sudden rain doesn’t intrude the spectacle.

Description of the environmental conditions

Material of the cover

  • Cable-net/Fabric/Hybrid/Foil
  • Material Fabric/Foil

Main dimensions and form

  • Covered surface (m2)

Duration of use

  • Temporary or permanent structure
  • Convertible or mobile

Involved companies