The Hyparschale, Magdeburg Events Building, 20th Century Architecture, German Building Restoration Project

The Hyparschale Building in Magdeburg, Saxony-Anhalt

Modern Historical Building Preservation in Germany design by von Gerkan, Marg and Partners Architects

5 Dec 2019

Design: von Gerkan, Marg and Partners Architects

Location: Magdeburg, Saxony-Anhalt, Germany

Hyparschale Magdeburg
Perspective exterior Hyparschale © gmp Architects

The Hyparschale Building

The Hyparschale Building in Magdeburg at the eastern bank of the River Elbe, which dates from 1969, is one of about fifty shell buildings by Ulrich Müther that are still in existence. Having stood empty for over 20 years, the refurbishment of the building in line with monument preservation guidelines is now starting to a design by architects von Gerkan, Marg and Partners (gmp).

The focus is on reviving the structure as an events and exhibition venue, as well as overhauling and repairing the concrete shell roof, which will once again bring to life the spatial effect of this hall with its column-free construction.

Hyparschale Magdeburg
Perspective, view from gallery level © gmp Architekten

With his audacious concrete shells, the structural engineer Ulrich Müther had a major impact on modern architecture in the GDR. With the Magdeburg Hyparschale, one of the largest of its kind, he created at Rotehornpark a deliberate counterpoint to the adjoining City Hall an expressive brick building from the 1920s which, starting from mid-2020, will also be refurbished by gmp in accordance with monument protection principles.

Hyparschale Magdeburg
Axonometry concrete shell roof © gmp Architects

gmp’s design for the shell building aims to revive the multifunctional hall, which has not been used since 1997 and is badly dilapidated, to recreate a multifunctional events and exhibition venue. The project is aimed at strengthening the ensemble of the Hyparschale and the City Hall, as well as re-establishing the interior spatial effect of the shell roof.

Müther’s design for the concrete roof consists of four hyperbolic paraboloids. The regular doubly-curved roof surfaces cover an area of 48 x 48 meters without any columns inside the hall. As part of the refurbishment, the loadbearing capacity of the roof will be re-established and even increased with the help of carbon concrete.

Hyparschale Magdeburg
Axonometry interior © gmp Architects

In addition, the rooflights running crosswise between the shells will be reopened. These fenestration bands emphasize the shape of the shells and provide optimum lighting to the center of the hall; newly inserted gallery levels and walk-on bridges make it possible to use and experience the open space with its curved roof in many different ways.

The interior steel constructions and facades are reminiscent of the original external facade with its vertical emphasis and industrial steel and glass materials. The former translucent industrial glazing is replaced by a transparent glass facade, with the original facade construction being retained.

Hyparschale Magdeburg

Hyparschale Magdeburg
Interior Hyparschale, existing, 2019 © Marco Dziallas /

The Hyparschale Building, Magdeburg – Building Information

Architect: von Gerkan, Marg and Partners Architects

Negotiation Process: (VgV) 2017 – Contract Awarded
Design: Meinhard von Gerkan and Stephan Schütz with Christian Hellmund
Project management: Sophie von Mansberg
Design team: Rosaria de Canditiis, Annett Fabian (BIM), Sonja Kautz, Ursula Köper, Annette Löber, Bao Wangtao, Thilo Zehme (visualizations), Aaron Zuber
Site supervision, gmp: Moritz Buchholz, Jessica Neumann, Christoph Rohner
Structural engineering / fire safety: Prof. Rühle, Jentzsch & Partner GmbH, Dresden

Carbon concrete technology: CarboCon GmbH, Dresden
M&E: Haupt Ingenieurgesellschaft mbH, Leipzig; Ingenieurbüro Breitmeier, Burg
Lighting design: Lichtvision Design GmbH, Berlin
Acoustics: ADA Acoustics & Media Consultants GmbH, Berlin
Highways, civil engineering, and drainage technology: IKM Ingenieurkontor Magdeburg Building physics Ingenieurbüro Kriegenburg, Magdeburg; ITG Energieinstitut GmbH, Magdeburg; Bauphysik@integrierte Planung Kai Rentrop, Dresden
Client: Magdeburg State Capital, Eigenbetrieb Kommunales Gebäudemanagement
GFA: 3,948 sqm

Hyparschale Magdeburg
Ensemble City Hall and Hyparschale, existing, 2018 © Marco Dziallas /

Photography © gmp Architects and © Marco Dziallas /

The Hyparschale Building in Magdeburg, Saxony-Anhalt images / information received 051219

Location: Magdeburg, Saxony-Anhalt, Germany, western Europe

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