Special Kind of Biathlon Experience

Design meets functionality in the new Chiemgau arena in Ruhpolding

Biathlon meets architecture and functionality: when the world`s best biathletes report for the final rehearsal of the Biathlon World Championships 2012 in Ruhpolding (Chiemgau) from January 11 till 16 more than 28,000 spectators will have a special kind of experience: the Chiemgau arena has been completely redesigned and extended for nearly 16 million euros. Now the arena is one of the most modern training and competition facilities of Nordic ski sports.

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The project team of the community of building engineers Trauntal GmbH (Ruhpolding) and the architect`s office Sieber + Renn (Sonthofen) well-known in the sector of ski sports made the planning of structural engineering like the new main building, the shooting stand, all terraces and the competition terrain. After having built the ski jumping hills in Oberstdorf (2004), Garmisch-Partenkirchen (2008) and Sochi (Russia, approval planning of the ski jumping hills for the Olympic Games 2014) the specialist from the Allgaeu for the first time performed a project for athletes which stay on the ground.

Architect Hans-Martin Renn, responsible for the planning of structural engineering together with his colleague Alfred Sieber explains: „In the past we proved that we are able to reailize the demands of the local principals but also the demands of international sports associations. This was the striking point for the Chiemgau arena, too, as design and functionality compose a success formula.” The engineers of the GB Trauntal GmbH were responsible for construction management and they also realized the planning of the engineering structure and the redesign of the training and competition courses.

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Not only four new buildings but also the new bridge (14x15m, made of a composite construction of wood and concrete for the first time in Germany) at the entrance of the stadium contributes to the arena`s new appearance.

The completely new developed course with the 300 m long Fischbach loop, a climb of 30 m of height difference is not only interesting for the athletes but also for the spectators. Georg Auer, project manager of BG Trauntal points out: “All in all we blasted away about 3500 cubic metres of rock to meet the requirements of the International Ski Association FIS.” The FIS demanded a width of up to 12 metres for the competition course. Previously at some spots of the Chiemgau arena only a width of 6 metres was possible.

New 30 metres high floodlights were installed so that the arena shines in new splendor at night.

The completely new developed course with the 300 m long Fischbach loop

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Georg Auer who knows the stadium better than anyone else explains: „Due to the redesign the competitions will become more interesting because we lowered the finish so that there is no incline. Now the athletes can attack on the last metres.“ In 1996 the BG Trauntal already planned the former stadium and accompanied the expansion to a biathlon centre.

For Hans-Martin Renn the new Chiemgau arena offers a new quality especially to the spectators: „We managed to separate the different functional levels from each other and in spite of that were able to keep the unique Ruhpolding atmosphere.“ Athletes, spectators and media representatives are now separated so that the World Cup competitions and other events can be better organized. Including the VIP block there are now six separate spectator blocks with own access areas. A new and clear guide system and special spectator ramps as well as a new bus shuttle terminal help the international fans to find their way quickly.

For the international TV stations and the media representatives working conditions will be better in the new Chiemgau arena because there is an integrated media centre in the stadium. The roof of the main building offers enough place for presentation and the presenters have a good view over the complete event.

For the architects and engineers the project Chiemgau arena was a real Herculean task: We had to absolve 27 different approval procedures. From classic building law to nature protection and weapons law.” Hans-Martin Renn thanks all involved partners for the good cooperation: „All acted in concert, also politicians and public authorities so that we were able to finish this project in such a short period of time.” Because of the long winter 2009/2010 they could not start to work before March.

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In the new arena snow is guaranteed because there is one more new building on the 15.8 hectare area: a 47 x 47 m silo, 8 metres high, with a capacity of 13,000 cubic metres of snow. Here, in the snow angle the operators can either deposit the snow created by the snow cannons or they can summer old snow so that the courses can be covered with snow already in autumn. Georg Auer points out: “This ensures perfect training conditions for the Olympic venue in the Chiemgau.”

Chiemgau Arena Ruhpolding

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