India, Neu-Delhi 

Dr. S. P. M. Swimming Pool Complex in New Delhi

Dr. S. P. M. Swimming Pool Complex in New Delhi Dr. S. P. M. Swimming Pool Complex in New Delhi Dr. S. P. M. Swimming Pool Complex in New Delhi Dr. S. P. M. Swimming Pool Complex in New Delhi Dr. S. P. M. Swimming Pool Complex in New Delhi Dr. S. P. M. Swimming Pool Complex in New Delhi       

Competition 2006 – 1st Prize
Volkwin Marg und Hubert Nienhoff
Project leader
Markus Pfisterer
Staff in alphabetical order
Tomomi Arai, Olga Dementieva, Constanze Elges, Rüdiger von Helmolt, Claudio Aceituno Husch, Lars Laubenthal, Fariborz Rahimi-Nedjat, Florian Schwarthoff
Cooperation with
schlaich bergermann und partner; Consulting Engi-neering Services, New Delhi; IG Tech
Structural concept and design roof
schlaich bergermann und partner – Knut Göppert with Knut Stockhusen
Central Public Works Department
Construction period
Gross floor area
11.500 m²
Length of the stadium
147 m
Width of the stadium
129 m
Hight of the stadium
34 m

The Dr. S. P. Mukherjee Swimming Stadium in New Delhi is being renovated and rebuilt for the swimming events of the 2010 Commonwealth Games. The stadium is named after Indian politician Shyama Prasad Mukherjee (1902-1953), who founded the first politically active party in India. The Commonwealth Games will be taking place in India in 2010 for the first time in history.

Hitherto open to the sky and built in parts in 1982, the swimming stadium will acquire a thermal cover in the form of a roof and a vertical glass façade. This will turn it into an air-conditioned space with an Olympic-standard, eight-lane, 50m-long competition pool, a diving pool and diving platform, and a crowd capacity of 5,000. The original idea of retaining the existing tiers in their entirety was dropped during construction in favor of a new structure independent of the roof structure.

The roof, carried on massive concrete bulkheads, encloses the existing 150m x 130 m oval geometry of the stadium. All the existing minor external annexes are being removed so as to generate a clearly ordered appearance. The spaces this frees up allow the various visitor groups to be steered into the relevant areas. Spaced between the bulkheads at regular intervals are the new access steps, which are open on the outside in conformity with present-day requirements for stadium evacuation. These steel steps have an anthracite-colored coating like the façade profiles so as to set them back visually behind the light-colored concrete bulkheads. Between the distinctive concrete bulkheads is a horizontally aligned façade structure, which at the same time provides a sunscreen for the glass façade. There was a deliberate intention to achieve a calm, archaic look that gains strength from the simple materials and structures.

To do justice to the character of the interior with its linear, rectangular swimming pool, the roof structure consists of a rectangular structural system integrated into the external oval shape. This means that all the lighting elements, loudspeakers, track-mounted camera systems, etc. relating to the rectangular pool can be harmoniously integrated into the roof frame.

Upper and lower grids of parallel strand-bundle cables are spanned within a massive oval concrete compression ring, rather like in a tennis racquet. The two layers of strand bundles are kept apart by air beams of varying heights, thereby creating a three-dimensional lens-shaped structure. Cast steel clips are positioned at all points where the strand bundles intersect, tying the bundles together and taking the differential forces. All the strand bundles are fixed to anchor plates in the compression ring. The concrete compression ring, which was cast in situ, is carried by massive pillar-style concrete bulkheads arranged radially that are also stiffened horizontally. Individual strands are hot-galvanized and wax-coated and wrapped in plastic sheathing. The strands used in the roof structure have already been used for cable-stayed bridges, but constitute an innovation in roof structures of this magnitude.