Ulrich Königs Chemnitz Stadium project records
Part of:
  • Ulrich Königs (archive creator)
  • Ulrich Königs (architect)
  • Peter Kulka (architect)
  • Cecil Balmond (engineer)
  • Arup Group Ltd. (engineering firm)

Ulrich Königs Chemnitz Stadium project records



Level of archival description:
Extent and medium:
  • 1,288 digital files (2 GB); 38 slides; 8 photographs; 1 book
Scope and content:
The Ulrich Königs Chemnitz Stadium project records, 1995-1996, document the competition entry and design for an innovative stadium in Chemnitz, Germany. The project was a collaboration between Peter Kulka, Ulrich Königs, Cecil Balmond, and Arup Group, Ltd.

The City of Chemnitz applied to host the European Athletic Championship in 2002, and ran a contest for the design of their new stadium. Peter Kulka, with the support of Ulrich Königs (Königs Architekten) and Cecil Balmond (Arup Group, Ltd.), won the competition with their design which integrated the stadium into the surrounding nature by imitating hills, trees, and clouds. Ultimately, the City of Chemnitz was not chosen to host the championship, and the project was unrealized.

The project was shaped by a transition from analogue techniques to a digital method. Kulka and Königs developed the design through hand sketches, which Balmond later translated into a digital 3D model. The design was primarily driven by the theoretical and methodological processes made possible by computer-aided design, rather than aesthetics. The form was a result of these processes, rather than a starting point for design.

The stadium consists of four formal elements: the lower stands, the upper stands, a series of columns, and a translucent roof. A Silicon Graphics computer and Alias|Wavefront animation software allowed visual interactions between the elements to be defined and structural conditions to be tested.

The project records have both digital and physical components, which chiefly include renderings, wireframe drawings, digital 3D models, photographs, slides, video, and a booklet. Notably, the records contain a number of Alias pix images, largely renderings cut together into an animation of the stadium. A video of these Alias pix image renderings is included in the records. Other materials of note include a printed book, which contains an illustrated description of the project.
Reference number:


Physical characteristics and technical requirements:

This fonds contains a large number of born-digital files in CAD formats. These are largely files created in Alias, and include wireframe models, pix images, and scene description language files. The wireframe models can be opened in Alias modeling software, including Autodesk Alias Automotive, Autodesk Alias Design, and Autodesk Alias Surface. Alias pix images can be used with the program FCheck, which is typically packaged with the Autodesk suite. Preservation copies of the pix images are also available in TIF and GIF formats. All of this software is available on CCA’s dedicated Study Room CAD workstation. For further information about services and software available for interacting with obsolete or niche file formats, please contact Collection Reference (reference@cca.qc.ca) and ask to speak with the Digital Archivist. There are several minor technical issues with the Alias pix files. One Alias pix image (final.695) appears to be corrupted and could not be fully recovered. There are also two unexpectedly large files (mo_1.0 and mo_2.0). It appears that they are large, high resolution Alias pix images, but it is possible that there is additional functionality that was not discovered at the time of processing.

This fonds is arranged at the file-level. For digital materials, folders were created from the major directories and subdirectories, approximately reflecting received order. Physical materials are grouped by format.
Biographical notes:
Ulrich Königs is a principal and founding member of the firm Königs Architekten in Cologne, Germany. He is also a professor of construction and design at the University of Wuppertal.

Königs has diplomas in architecture from RWTH Aachen (1991) and the Architectural Association, London (1995). From 1991-1993, he worked in the office of architect Peter Kulka in Cologne and Dresden. In 1996, he and his wife, Ilse Marie Königs, established the firm Königs Architekten, which focuses on the design and planning construction of new sites in public space.

The firm is perhaps best known for its award-winning design of a church and seminary at Pfarrzentrum in Cologne (2004). Another notable project is Chemnitz Stadium (1997), an unbuilt sports stadium that was an early example of algorithmic architectural computer-aided design.
Conditions governing access:
  • Access by appointment only.
Conditions governing reproduction:
  • For copyright information or permission to reproduce material from the fonds, please contact the CCA (reproductions@cca.qc.ca).
Immediate source of acquisition or transfer:
  • Gift of Ulrich Koenigs, 11 January 2016.
Custodial history:
  • Physical materials in this archive were kept by Ulrich Königs at his office in Aachen, Germany prior to their transfer to CCA. The digital animated walkthrough video had also been kept by Königs and was sent to CCA as an attachment to an email. The other digital files in the archive were on three DAT tapes in the possession of project collaborator Ron Martin in Frankfurt, Germany. Martin sent the physical tapes to CCA. Files on the tapes were then extracted by an external vendor hired by CCA and ingested into CCA’s digital repository. These records were acquired by CCA as part of the Archaeology of the Digital project. Selected items were displayed in the show Archaeology of the Digital: Complexity and Convention, May-October 2016.
Archivist's note:
  • A single-level record for this archive was created by Digital Archivist Tessa Walsh in July 2016. Processing and description was completed by Digital Processing Archivist Stefana Breitwieser in October 2017.
Credit line:
When citing the collection as a whole, use the citation:

Ulrich Königs Chemnitz Stadium project records,
Collection Centre Canadien d'Architecture/
Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montréal;

When citing specific collection material, please refer to the object’s specific credit line.
Language of material:
  • German
Other finding aids:
  • Ulrich Königs sent an inventory of the physical materials at the time of accession. A scanned copy is available in the collection documentation folder.
Related units of description:
  • As part of the Archeology of the Digital series of exhibitions, interviews were conducted with the related architects and published in an ePub format: Königs, Ulrich, and Greg Lynn. Archeology of the Digital 15: Ulrich Königs and Greg Lynn discuss Chemnitz Stadium. Montreal: Canadian Centre for Architecture, 2016. Additional resources at CCA include: Balmond, Cecil, and Greg Lynn. Cloud and Forest. Montreal: Centre for Canadian Architecture, 2016. Kulka, Peter with Ulirch Königs Konstruction and Arup & Partners. Sportsstadion Chemnitz: 2002. Berlin: Aedes, 1996.

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