Ice skating rink (Olympic Park Munich)
Year of construction
Function of building
Temperate - cold winters and mild summers
To enable the open ice-surface in the Olympic Park to be used all round the year, independently of the weather, a light roofing, naturally without supports, was required. Architects and engineers solved this problem together in an inspired fashion by means of a steel-trussed arch of three chords. With a span of 100m and a height of roughly 19m at its apex, the arch is capable of transmitting any thrusts to two large concrete abutments. Two sets of cables hang in opposing curves from the arch, stabilizing it by their anchorage and forming a net. These symmetrical nets of cable have a grid of 75 x 75 cm and support a wooden lattice, upon which is attached a translucent plastic sheeting. At the roof's edges the cable nets are bordered by garland-shaped cables which pass over adjustable angled supports of steel being anchored fast.
The construction and form of the hanging from the arch correspond in the main to that of the roof edge, thus allowing the same components to be used and also producing a series of elliptically strung openings below the latticed arch . These are filled by "glass eyes" equipped with ventilators. The continuous, between about 3 and 5 m tall "facades" between the edge of the roof and the ground in the region of the angled supports incline from the eaves to the interior at an angle corresponding to that of these supports. The building thus has the first ever in itself mobile, horizontally barred glass "façade" which is able to participate in the formal changes allowed by the anchoring cables.
This extensive, and in itself symmetrical area-covering structure makes do with a minimum of materials. The logic of its construction, its beauty, elegance and exceptional boldness give the impression that genuine functionality, invented by technical intelligence, led to the real aesthetic effect.
(Kurt Ackermann, Kurt Ackermann and Partners)
[Membrane Designs and Structures in the World, Kazuo Ishii, p44]
Description of the environmental conditions
Material of the cover
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Covered surface (m2)
Total length (m)
Total width (m)
Duration of use
Temporary or permanent structure
Convertible or mobile
Design lifespan in years