Ian Ritchie Architects were invited in 1995 to participate in a limited international competition to design a multi-sport indoor arena for Leipzig.
The requirements included a 200m indoor athletic track with full back-up accommodation capable of meeting IAAF standards for international events. In addition, the brief required that the building could adapt to many other sporting uses and achieve high environmental performance and low running costs.
Our concept responded to the very tight construction budget of DM47 million by developing an enclosure wall of landscaped earth, a simple large span structure and an interior which rendered the roof structure invisible by means of a light reflecting skin. This skin acted as a diffusing surface for artificial lighting – a key factor in the design of indoor sports facilities, particularly for tennis, badminton and other ball games.
The scheme was costed by a large German contractor to ensure that the proposal was within the cost target. It proved to be the only scheme in the top six which achieved this cost requirement.