“Sports Moves” – Olympia Exhibition Building

Leipzig, Germany

“Sports Moves” is the programmatic point of departure for an architectural movement with which Leipzig underscored its candidacy for the 2012 Olympics. During the 2006 World Cup, a completely new type of press and exhibition center was set up to convey an expression of Leipzig’s special quality of life, and also to provide information about the Olympics.
The architectural goal was to create not a conventional exhibition building, but rather a building in which sports could be expressed as an event and an attraction, remain in motion in a very concrete fashion, and convey that motion in a palpable manner.
“Sports Moves” was conceived as consisting of two elements, a “table” and a “ring”. The “ring” is a body which, with its dynamic three-quarters-arc shape, provides an ideal panoramic view of the Leipzig Olympic terrain. It is a movable part of the project which can be moved up and down diagonally by means of lifter arms, and thus attains changing spatial relationships with its base, the “table”, which provides that movement with a firm base and a clear range. The “table” handles all “heavy uses”, such as special exhibitions and depots, while at the same time, not incidentally, awakening associations with a sports field.
Upon it is where the movement takes place; this is where, in analogy to the movement on a sports field, the dynamically shaped body of the ring rises upward into the Leipzig sky and provides unique workspaces, exhibition spaces and panorama platforms across two levels. By adapting the advanced space-frame technology used for aircraft and ship construction, it has been possible to design an extremely light-weight body with no internal struts, which moreover minimizes the energy necessary for the movement by making skillful use of the center of gravity of its own mass.