Olympiastadion (Olympic Stadium) was constructed to host the Olympic Games of 1972. The project was the result of a contest won by architects Gunther Behnisch and Frei Otto. They came up with a very remarkable design to challenge contemporary architecture.
The stadium is carefully laid down in an artificially created basin. It is covered with a light transparent structure that is suspended by big steel pillars. The structure partly extends over the stadium in accordance with other parts of the Olympic village. It defines the scenery of the village as if it were one big tent. It also shows a new environment that looks similar to the surrounding Munich area. The stadium fits well in the scenery of the village, it accompanies the morphology of the ground with a wavy-profiled basin that is almost completely buried.
The major part of the stadium is only accessible from the top of the basin. Only the main tribune can be reached from the bottom. The big steel pillars measure 76 meters each (250 feet). The roof reaches out over the main tribune in an undulating way and accompanies the tiers that gradually lower towards the opposite site. It involves a combination of transparency and high technology, characterized by elements of translucent Plexiglas that seem to roll over the tiers. The elements are optimally suspended to the cables of the pillars and connected along the inner perimeter of a large curved cable.
The Olympiastadion surprises by its simplicity of a unique ring of continuous tiers around the playing field. It shows off as a protagonist in the picture frame of the Olympic village, as an indelible icon of contemporaneous architecture.
© by Angelo Spampinato