Alster Indoor Swimming Center – Makeover for a landmark

Build in the 1960s, the Alster Indoor Swimming Center in Hamburg, Germany, is known for its distinctive shape well beyond the city borders. What makes the building so special is the unusual roof structure. More than 50 years ago, sbp founder Jörg Schlaich was involved with its design. The roof structure is made up of two prestressed concrete hypar shells that lean against each other. Although the layout of the roof structure is about 100 x 60 m, the shell is only 8 cm slim.

The swimming center is now to undergo extensive renovation and conversion, with schlaich bergermann partner being responsible for the structural design. As for the characteristic shell, only concrete renovation and maintenance measures are being carried out, while the form is to be retained.


Inside the Alster Indoor Swimming Center, almost all areas will be adapted to current standards of modern leisure and wellness pools. The grandstand of the former sports pool, which is no longer needed, will be dismantled, as will be the entire functional area in the northern part of the building. In both the main swimming area and in the northern building part, which will be newly constructed, additional pools are planned to offer a wider range of choices for bathers. Meanwhile, only little changes will be made at the facade level due to the protection of historical monuments. Here, only the latticed columns will be reinforced, and the glass panels will be renewed in order to adapt to today’s standards.

We are very much looking forward to working together with gmp on this project, which is very special to us and reminds us of our very own roots.