New Karlsruhe Trade Fair and Exhibition Centre

In strict axial symmetry, the new exhibition grounds continue Karlsruhe’s and its palace complex’s tradition of being a “green city “, integrating buildings and landscape: A green axis extends across the entire exhibition grounds, starting at the landscaped lake in front of the exhibition ground’s main entrance past a garden courtyard in its middle and ending in the open countryside. Omnipresent views make orientation within the buildings simple and integrate the landscape, complete with a view of the Black Forest foothills, into all areas.

> Landscape Architecture

An overhanging, seemingly weightless roof, accentuates the main entrance, under which is located the four-story high exhibition loggia, which is separated by a glazed light interstice from the roof with its 26-meter projection. Special areas, such as conference and press centres, occupy the second floor and a restaurant the third floor of the wood faced structure. These are reached via galleries from the glazed-sided events hall, which provide views of the adjacent exhibition halls and the surrounding countryside. Irrespective of spatial and functional divisions, the conference rooms thus enjoy a direct visual connection to the exhibition halls.

Around the entire garden courtyard is a glazed gallery that connects the events hall to the four symmetrical exhibition halls situated on either side of the gallery. All the halls, each measuring 80 meters wide, are covered by curved wood constructions, which, because of bodice–shaped light interstices arranged diagonally, possess a certain rhythm. The structural cross stays are consciously “brought to light“ underneath the glazed interstices. Three of the four 160 meter long halls have smooth soffits, in contrast to the multifunctional hall that is characterized by a load-bearing rhombic-shaped wood construction with continuous overlaying girders. The roofs’ exteriors are faced in metal, as are all hall facades, as well as the roof wing above the entrance building.

Location Karlsruhe
Competition 1ˢᵗ prize, 2000
Construction dates 2001 - 2003
GFA 99.501 m²
Gross Volume 1.179.626 m³
Design Architect Prof. Eckhard Gerber
Project Architect Marita Langen
Team members H.C. Bittner, Robert Dahmen, Wolfgang Franke, Jörg Schoeneweiß, Gerd Gröschl, Beate Mack, Yvonne Kauß, Georg Kolendowicz, Stefan Lemke, Eva Paar, Ralf Wissel, Marc Rettkowski, Kai Volmer, Annette Köhne (LA), Sabine Diegritz (LA)
2005 Deutscher Holzbaupreis 2005
2005 Auszeichnung guter Bauten 2005 des BDA Baden-Württemberg
2004 Architekturpreis der WestHyp-Stiftung für vorbildliche Gewerbebauten