Save the Multihalle!
Since its creation in 1975 the inspirational structure of the Multihalle designed by Frei Otto and Ted Happold in Mannheim has inspired architecture enthusiasts, but is now under threat
Although it was originally intended as a temporary structure for the Bundesgartenschau (Federal German Garden Show), the lightweight, wooden gridshell structure developed by Pritzker Prize-winner Frei Otto, celebrated its 40th inaugural anniversary this year.
Ted Happold and the engineers collaborating with Frei Otto went on to establish the firm BuroHappold Engineering. In the years to come the Multihalle remained a role model for designing similar gridshells including the Japanese Pavilion at the EXPO 2000 and the Weald and Downland Museum in England.
The community of Mannheim is now desperately trying to save the Mannheim Multihalle, which is in dire need of refurbishment. Due to the building’s underutilisation it is proving difficult to justify the acquisition of necessary funding.
In the coming weeks BuroHappold is campaigning for preserving this architectural icon, including talks with students at the University of Stuttgart and a public discussion, which will be attended by some of the original project team members in Aedes Gallery in Berlin, Germany.
Pictures from the recent event at Aedes Gallery
A fundraising campaign organised by Verein Multihalle e.V. (Society of the Multihalle) and Architektenkammer Baden-Württemberg (Architectural Association Baden-Wuerttemberg) will start in early 2017. Details will be published here.