Author(s): Georg Vrachliotis
The temporary multipurpose hall built by Frei Otto and Carlfried Mutschler for the 1975 Federal Horticultural Show in Mannheim ranks as the world's largest wooden grid shell construction. Although it was actually put under a preservation order in 1998, an international debate is now underway to discuss whether to demolish or maintain this structure. The complex roof is the most complex part of the structure which required sophisticated modelling, measuring techniques, scientific observation and technical skill — a form of manual and intellectual self-alignment, in which the process of conceptualisation also succeeded in triggering a collective discourse on the future of society. Drawing on materials from the archives of Mutschler and Otto that are unpublished, this book presents the history of this experimental building for the first time.