adidas ARENA, World of Sports

On 13 July 2016 the Adidas Group officially laid the foundation stone for two new buildings at its headquarter in Herzogenaurach. In early 2014, the adidas Group launched an architectural competition for the expansion of its headquarters. The ARENA building – which was to be planned from scratch – would form the future main entrance to the “World of Sports”. The design created by Behnisch Architekten emerged as the winner of the competition.

Floating Buildings – Steel Construction in Motion

The new building’s ground plan measures approx. 143 m x 118 m. The ground floor sits directly on its foundations. Three upper storeys (numbers 1-3) are elevated on V-shaped supports at a height of approx. 12.5 m above ground level. A Vierendeel construction has been selected for the upper storeys so as to afford the greatest possible flexibility in terms of their potential use. This proposed construction is an 8.10 m grid of columns that entirely forgoes the use of diagonal supports or bracing walls. The ground floor is an independent steel reinforced concrete structure consisting of columns, walls and a ceiling. A green roof – which can be walked over – separates this construction from the upper storeys. The V-supports for the upper floors penetrate the ceiling of the ground floor without becoming connected to it structurally.

Werner Sobek provided structural engineering services for the building designed by Stuttgart-based architect Stefan Behnisch. The German Steel Construction Engineering Award 2020 goes to the adidas ARENA in Herzogenaurach.

Behnisch Architekten, Stuttgart/Germany

Planning time
2014 − 2015

Construction time
2016 − 2019

Services by Werner Sobek

  • Structural engineering (WP 1 − 4 acc. to HOAI, preparation of key details)
  • Random site supervision

51,915 m²

adidas AG, Herzogenaurach/Germany

German Steel Construction Engineering Award
European Steel Design Award
German Steel Construction Award

David Matthiessen, Stuttgart/Germany

The steel construction of the first two upper floors was pre-assembled on approx. 2 m high auxiliary supports. The entire structure was then brought into its final position in several steps with the aid of 76 hydraulic presses. The 12,000 tonne construction was lifted by 0.5 m each in several 12-minute lifting operations. A total of 67 V-shaped composite columns were then mounted under the construction before the latter was then lowered onto them. The time-lapse film shows how this impressive process took place.

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