Tennis Hall Bad Waltersdorf

Plari-Kreis Heinrich & Breiner and H. Purkarthofer

Subject | When designing the tennis halls for Bad Waltersdorf's leisure facilities, the architect first had the notion of constructing the roof in the shape of a barrel vault using the "Zollinger" method, i.e. the diamond-shaped structural framework developed and patented by City Building Surveyor Zollinger, who worked in Merseburg near Leipzig in the 1920s. Its principle is a diamond pattern in which each member runs past two "diamonds" and is offset with its neighbours, thus forming a stiff, plane, loadbearing structure. All members are identical and, owing to the simple offset between members, only one fixing bolt is required at each node. Originally only intended for simple houses with a barrel vault roof, or for low-cost industrial or agricultural premises, this system is still in use today, and even for large halls - for example, the gymnasium in Berlin-Charlottenburg built by Hinrich and Inken Bailer in 1987.

The principle behind "Zollbau", as it is called, is an identical pattern in the development of the arch. This pattern consists of just two elements: ribs and bolts, which is why it is so economic. Yet in our modern world with its high-tech computerized calculation and design procedures, there are other ways in which we can optimize structures. For this project, the timber engineers used the latest methods to modify the architect's design in order that costs could be reduced still further. Although the system is now based on intersecting open arches, the architect's original diamond pattern is still recognizable; only the geometry has been altered. The individual parts remained but the complete system was optimized by employing up-to-date computerized production techniques. Today, standardization through minimizing the number of individual parts is no longer the main criterion; best possible use of materials and the simplification of machine-made connections are equally important goals.


Bad Waltersdorf, Austria Client

Freizeitpark Waltersdorf GmbH, Bad Waltersdorf


Plan-Kreis Heinrich & Breiner Ges.m.b.H. and Dipl.-Ing. H. Purkarthofer, Hartberg

Structural Engineer & Timber Construction Hubert Kulmer Bau GmbH, Graz

Date of Completion 1994


The cost of the timber works for both tennis halls, including the roofing, was approx. 6 million Schillings.

Design and Structure | The two double tennis halls are situated at the northern end of the tennis courts complex. Each hall measures 40.60 m x 40.60 m outside. The halls are arranged parallel but offset and linked by a 10-m-wide, two-storey building incorporating changing rooms, restaurant and squash courts. The really quite massive barrel vaults over the halls rest on exposed foundation plinths,

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