Germany, Friedrichshafen 

New Trade Fair, Friedrichshafen


Competition 1998/99 – 1st Prize
Volkwin Marg with Hauke Huusmann
Wolfgang Haux
Project team
Petra Kauschus, Katja Beiß, Martina Klostermann, Knut Maass, Carsten Plog, Klaus Reinhardt, Dirk Tietgen, Petra Wedemann, Wolfgang Schmidt, Marina Hoffmann, Ralph Schmitz, Claudia Schultze, Peter Radomski, Gabi Wysocki
Structural engineers
Landscape architects
Studio Land
Project controlling
Assmann Beraten und Planen
General contractor
Hochtief Building
Internationale Bodensee-Messe Friedrichshafen GmbH
Construction period
Gross floor area
95,000 m²
1,221,000 m³



Juergen Schmidt

[email protected]

The Bodensee-Messe (Lake Constance trade fair grounds) with eight halls, an exhibition courtyard and the square activity centre is an architectural ensemble with a uniform appearance. Timber roofed colonnades provide weather protection for the visitors in the entrance areas, but also serve as links around the large exhibition courtyard and between the halls. The linear hall arrangement ensures a continuous flow of visitors with clear orientation. The architectural quality of the ensemble built with limited means is its generosity, expanse and simplicity. The timber barrel vault column-free spans the 60 m wide hall in a high arch. In the centre of the complex the bright, square activity centre forms the emphasis of the foyer, where congress rooms and the main restaurant on the gallery provide an inviting place to stay.

Daylight, light walls, white columns, and untreated wood ceilings generate trans-parency and clarity. Brightness, generous space, stimulating alternations of interior and exterior spaces, and the clear orientation characterize an architectural ambience, in which visitors feel comfortable.

The fine arts also form part of the synthesis between landscape design, ecology and architecture: The 120 m long and 5 m high surrounding parapet wall inside the activity centre is decorated with a painted panorama of Lake Constance. The sequence of sixteen large painting plates illustrates the panorama as viewed from the middle of Lake Constance, which gives the name to the Friedrichshafen trade fair grounds.