The Glaspalast is a sports and congress center which had originally been conceived by Günter Behnisch & Partner exclusively as a sports venue. In the vernacular the building soon became known as the Glaspalast by virtue of its architecture, which has evolved into the trademark and brand it still is today. Its exemplary design spawned numerous similar sports centers at home and abroad and was awarded with the BDA-Prize of the Baden-Württemberg chapter of the Architectural Association in 1977. It also won the Hugo-Häring Prize in 1978. In the year 1994 Colin Jackson set the world record of 7.3 seconds here in the men’s 60-meter hurdles competition, which still holds today. The hall has undergone several extensions and today also hosts events other than for sports for up to 5,200 visitors. In February 2016, it has been designated as a listed building.
Age-related wear and tear, rising energy bills and the re-use of the venue for all kinds of events necessitated a refurbishment in two stages, as well as a technical upgrade. In the first stage, the roof of the center with its large glass shed strips was refurbished and with a view to improving its energy performance. The use of the 2,500sqm sports arena for other kinds of events also required an expansion of fire protection installations and some basic refurbishment of the building.
It is important that the requirements to meet today’s standards of thermal insulation as well as other standards interfere as little as possible with the distinctive glass-and-metal look of the building. The poorly performing exterior shading devices was replaced in favor of advanced glass technologies.