Renewal of the Suspended Ceiling at the Olympic Swimming Facility in Munich

Since the Olympic Games in Munich in 1972, the Olympic Park remains one of the most successful stadium complexes where architecture and landscaping successfully combine to form a harmonious entity. An essential element of this unified image is the organic tent-like roof – a tensioned roof structure with translucent acrylic glass cladding – which unifies stadium, sport hall and swimming centre. Although the roof cladding was originally planned for a life of ten years, a renewal of the acrylic cladding was only found to be necessary after 30 years of use. Additionally, the architects Auer and Weber in collaboration with the structural engineers Schlaich Bergermann and Partner have recently completely replaced the internal membrane of the roof of the swimming centre. It was considered of paramount importance to retain the original transparency of the roof, in spite of the increased demands of thermal insulation. It was possible to preclude a discrete vapour barrier by the application of an innovative ventilation system; while the complete substitution of the illumination bridges with lighter, more filigree elements allowed a perceptible reduction in the quantity of suspended structures, thereby reducing the number of critical penetrations through the membrane roof. The result enables this structure – representing the beginnings of modern tensioned roof constructions – to be presented in contemporary finery, and demonstrates just how sustainable Olympic structures can be, 36 years later.
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