International competition 1992 – 1st Prize
Design Volkwin Marg and Hubert Nienhoff
Project manager Kemal Akay
Project team Yasmin Balbach, Wolfgang Balbach, Fernanda Barbato, Marco Bartusch, Myrna Bergfeld, Björn Bergfeld, Susanne Bern, Heike Breuler, Verena v. d. Brincken, Hubertus v. Dallwitz, Mirjam Danke, Clemens Dost, Wieland Freudiger, Uwe Friedrich, Bernd Gossmann, Artistide Hamann, Christina Harenberg, Christina Hasskamp, Hubert Hirsch, Christian Hoffmann, Angelika Juppien, Dirk Kahlig, Monika Kaesler, Petra Kauschus, Gabriele Köhn, Jochen Köhn, Ursula Köper, Franz Lensing, Annette Löber, Fulvio Melle, Elisabeth Menne, Michael Pohl, Henning Rambow, Dieter Rösinger, Birgit Roth, Monika Scharrer, Almut Schlüter, Gisbert v. Stülpnagel, Robert Stüer, Beate Sturm, Ulrich Weigel, Reinold Weiten, Armin Wittershagen
Landscape architects Wehberg, Eppinger, Schmidtke, Hamburg
Technical building equipment HL-Technik, München
Structural engineers Polonyi und Partner, Köln; schlaich bergermann und partner, Stuttgart
Steel-glass-construction in cooperation with Ian Ritchie Architects, London
Client Leipziger Messegesellschaft mbH
Construction period 1993–1995
Gross floor area 273,000 m²
Volume 2,608,255 m³
The new Leipzig Exhibition Centre located north of the city, constitutes the most extensive individual building project in the "Reconstruction of the East". The previous advantage of Leipzig’s trade fairs has been the location of the exhibition centre within the city environs. This has been abandoned in favour of the new site in close proximity to airport and a motorway links. There, a new place has been developed, a "synthesis of the arts", of town and landscape planning, architecture and engineering skill.
The underlying design principle is simple: The visitor arrives by public or private transport in an artificial valley, which is 2 km long and runs one level below the exhibition halls, which are serviced from the rear. This circulation diagram separates these different modes of traffic. The valley is designed as a continuous landscaped park. Entrance halls are located at both ends, leading the visitor to the exhibition halls that sit along the edge of the embankment. The individual usage and possible subdivision of the halls makes the organization of small-scale fairs possible.
The largest so called "Hochhalle" cannot be subdivided and is therefore used as a multi-purpose hall. Huge hydraulic doors give access to the 150 x 150 m square. In the centre, an area of 75 x 75 m is covered by a roof 20 m high. The counterpart to the "Hochhalle" is the congress centre with a separate entrance for independent events. A generous stair forms a linkage to the foyers. A sequence of arcades give an appropriate prominence to the congress centre.
The Entrance Hall West, spanning 80 x 120 m, and the delicate tower symbolize the new exhibition centre. The entrance roof is spanned with majestic steel arches with a suspended glazed envelope. Every single 1,50 x 3 m glass panel is fixed externally at four points, resulting in a grand, internally smooth glass surface – a new crystal palace at the turn of the 20th century.