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Sporthalle Charlottenburg

Berlin, Germany
1 of 18

Shortly after the erection of the Berlin Wall in 1961, the government of West Berlin commissioned the largest post-war gymnasium. Construction started on March 16th 1962. The architect Ludwig Leo opted for a complex, but elegant 52-m free-span reinforced concrete vaulted ribbed vault. A couple of years earlier the Italian architect and engineer Pier Luigi Nervi gained notoriety for the reinforced concrete dome of the Palazzetto dello sport which he had built for the 1960 summer olympics.

In Germany such roof constructions were a novelty at the time. The roof is supported by 200 reinforced concrete posts placed in intervals of 8.50 metres. On the edges on either side of the vaulted roof,glass tiles are inserted for exposure. The inflowing light is regulated by solar panels mounted on the inside and painted in white. The gymnasium's entrance facade is an exposed concrete structure aerated by bands of windows of different heights.

The gymnasium offers seats for up to 2,200 spectators. The 55 x 25 metres playing field can be reduced to make space for another 1,000 spectators. The initial estimated cost of DM 2.2 million increased significantly to 3.5 million. The nearby river Spree hampered the construction works and the building foundations had to be reinforced by 150 large steel poles. The hall was finally opened on October 31st, 1964.

Today the building is still used as a sports facility. It is the home ground of the German first league volleyball team SCC Berlin.

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sarak, December 24th, 2013
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