Munich Olympic Stadium 慕尼黑奥林匹克体育场 / Frei Otto & Gunther Behnisch


Often mentioned as a pioneer in lightweight tensile and membrane construction, yet overshadowed in the discipline of architecture, Frei Otto along with Gunther Behnisch collaborated to design the 1972 Munich Olympic Stadium in Munich,Germany.  With the Olympics having already been held in Berlin in 1936, Otto and Behnisch took the second Olympics games in Germany as an opportunity and a second chance to show Germany in a new light.  Their goal was to design a structure that would emulate the games motto: “The Happy Games” as more of a whimsical architectural response that would overshadow the heavy, authoritarian stadium in Berlin.

Frei Otto建筑领域常被忽略,却是一位经常被提及的轻质张拉膜结构先锋,他和Gunther Behnisch在1972年合作设计了位于德国慕尼黑的慕尼黑奥林匹克运动会体育场。由于1936年奥林匹克运动会已经在柏林举办过,Otto和Behnisch抓住了运动会第二次在德国举办的机会作为第二次展现德国风采的机遇。他们的目标是设计一个能够体现运动会标语“快乐竞赛”的结构,作为一种奇妙的建筑性呼应,并希望它能胜过柏林原有的厚重而权力至上的体育场

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Otto and Behnisch conceptualized a sweeping tensile structure that would flow continuously over the site imitating the draping and rhythmic protrusions of the Swiss Alps.  The result is a suspended cloud-like structure that appears to be floating over the site branching in between the natatorium, gymnasium, and the main stadium.

The continuous tensile surface that bridges all of the main buildings of the Olympic Games is subject to a hierarchical structural system that creates a series of volumes across the site.  The canopies membrane is suspended from a multitude of vertical masts that allow for the dramatic draping curves of the surface to flow dynamically across the site changing form, scale, and sectional characteristics.  The large canopies are stabilized laterally through a network of smaller cables that attach to a larger steel cable extending over the entire span into concrete footings at either end.



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Aside from the buildings that the membrane covers, there is a series of volumes that are covered by the suspended surface that are used as flexible space for stands to be used during the games and at various events.

For such an expansive site, the minimal structural components work to create the dynamic sweeping surfaces that are created by various tensile connections resulting in an undulating mesh.  As the system works its way across the artificial landscape toward the main stadium, which was built in a crater from the bombings of WWII, the membrane begins to compress as it fades around the stadium.  The dramatic shift in scales of coverage heightens the perception of the floating artificial landscape that forms out of the ground to create large open span volumes only to integrate back into the ground.


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In addition to its “connection” to the landscape, the acrylic glass panels that clad the tensile membrane establish a relationship to its context and the light exposure that it experiences.  The acrylic panels shimmer in the sunlight, reflecting the light, the color of the sky, and the surrounding landscape.  When illuminated, the suspended membrane appears as a cloud formation swarming over the site.

为了强调与景观间的连接,覆盖于张拉膜上的丙烯酸玻璃嵌板建立了与环境和曝光度的关系。丙烯酸面板在阳光下微微发光,反射着阳光、天空颜色和周围的景观。当被照亮时,悬浮的薄膜就像云朵的形状云集在场地之上。1297389380-olympic-munich-10 1297389379-olympic-munich-9 1297389363-olympic-munich-1

Due to Otto’s precise calculations the entire structural and membrane system was constructed off site.  The high precision allowed for a simple assembly to one of the world’s most innovative and complex structural systems that have worked solely on the premise of tension.  Even after almost 40 years after its completion, the tensile tent-like structure appears just as it did during the 1972 Olympics, the lines, form, structure, and the architectural awe still remain.

由于Otto 的精确计算,整个结构和薄膜体系在基地外建造。极高的精度使得这世上最具创新性之一的复杂结构体系可以被简单装配,并仅仅在张力的作用下成立。即使在建成后的40多年,这个像帐篷一样的张拉膜结构依然像1972年奥利匹克期间一样,线条、形式、结构以及让人叹服的建筑感依然留存。

Architect: Frei Otto and Gunther Behnisch
Location: Munich, Germany
Project Year: 1968 -1972
Photographs: Wikimedia Commons
References: ArchInform1297389390-olympic-tent-plan 1297389391-olympic-tent-stadium 1297389391-olympic-tent-section

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