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  • external
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  • drawing
  • external
  • detail
  • detail

General information

  • Home page
  • Location address
  • Location country
  • Year of construction
  • Name of the client/building owner
    Stadt Wernigerode
  • Function of building
  • Degree of enclosure
    Open structure
  • Climatic zone
    Temperate - cold winters and mild summers
  • Number of layers
  • Type of application of the membrane
  • Primary function of the tensile structure
    • Daylight gains
    • Rain protection
    • Space defining elements


In 2013, GRAFT won a Europe-wide architectural competition to renovate the ice rink with its proposal for a unique roof construction. The competition brief outlined the need to transform the facility into a multi-functional arena for year-round use that can host not only sports but also cultural events regardless of the weather. The existing stone terraces and listed timber umpire’s tower had to be retained and incorporated into the new design.
This competition-winning design to transform a natural ice rink located in the heritage-protected region of the Harz, the highest mountain range in Northern Germany, into a professional ice arena that offers year-round multi-functional use for sports and cultural events, also serves the purpose of promoting tourism in the region.
The spatially curved saddle of the roof is the key element of the scheme. It provides weather protection without obstructing the spectacular view of the Harz mountain range. Through its modest details, the complex shape of the saddle surface gains clarity, revealing a structure comprised of a membrane supported by a cable net. Once the membrane and the cable net have been prestressed separately against the edge, they are linked at the nodes of the net. An edge beam made of double-curved sheet metal encloses the levels in the shape of a base ring and is supported on the two lowest points of its crimped axis. The horizontal bearing forces are short-circuited by an underground, centrically pre-stressed concrete tie. In this project, the design process has been characterized by a particularly consistent material reduction on the edge beam. Beyond the conventional form-finding process under individual loading conditions, the designers strove to achieve a balance between all impacts on the structure without neglecting its aesthetics.

Description of the environmental conditions

GRAFT proposed a dramatic roof structure that rests on the ground at just two points and provides shelter from rain, snow and sunlight but also frames a view of the mountains beyond and the sky above.

General comments, links

German Design Award 2019, Special Mention

some pictures by Michel Moser

Material of the cover

  • Cable-net/Fabric/Hybrid/Foil
  • Material Fabric/Foil
  • Material coating

Main dimensions and form

  • Covered surface (m2)
  • Maximum height (m)
  • Total length (m)
  • Total width (m)

Duration of use

  • Temporary or permanent structure
  • Design lifespan in years

Involved companies