Olympic Games Munich 1972 Competition Model:


Architekturmuseum der TU, Munich.

Institutional Internal Reference Code:



Ideas and building competition for the buildings and facilities of the XX. Olympic Games Munich 1972 (competition model).

Date of creation:


Name of creator(s):

Günter Behnisch.

Administrative / contextual / biographical history:

In 1967, with a model fashioned from women’s stockings and wooden rods, the architectural team of Behnisch & Partner prevailed in the “Conceptual and Building Competition for the Structures and Grounds of the 20th Olympic Games in 1972” in Munich. But the jury wondered “whether the prototype of the Montréal tent construction could be executed in a roof of such dimensions as a permanent structure.” Since they were not in a position “to make a definitive statement concerning the feasibility of their proposal,” the architects undertook extensive activities designed to clarify the doubtful viability of the canopy design. Behnisch requested expert advice from Frei Otto and Fritz Leonhardt, two of the designers of the tent roof in Montréal. Additional internationally renowned engineers were recruited to form a consultant group. In February of 1968, the results were presented to the Olympic construction firm: “The suspension roof in its more developed form is realisable as a pre-tensioned steel cable roof with a shell-style wooden construction.” In early March, the architects were given three months to elaborate an alternative roofing concept alongside their original proposal. Only in June of 1968 was the tent roof proposal developed further by Frei Otto and Fritz Auer deemed feasible, with the comment that prize-winning idea of an all-embracing architectural landscape “would be highlighted and enhanced in a convincing way through the tent roof construction.” The alternative design prepared in July of 1969 by the MAN firm on a commission from the Federal Building Office testifies to the skepticism with which the roof construction was still regarded. After further developments, the shell-style wooden covering was ultimately replaced by a light-permeable roof membrane. Through the tenacious perseverance of the architects, this spectacular tent roof was realized in accordance with their original concept.

Source: Show & Tell, booklet, 2014

Provenance / archival ownership history:

Heinz Isler.

Conditions governing access:

Open Access.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copyright Architekturmuseum TUM; Application for permission to publish required; Creative Commons – Lizenz BY-NC-ND.

Materials, physical characteristics and technical requirements:

Cardboard, wood, nylon mesh, needles.

Finding aids available:

Database MediaTUM – https://mediatum.ub.tum.de/647610

Cataloguing rules or conventions followed:

AM TUM Database Filemaker.

Exhibition / display history:

03/13/14-06/15/14: Exhibition “Show and Tell” (Munich, PDM).

Subjects (Getty Art & Arch Thesaurus):

Architectural models.


Munich – Oberwiesenfeld.


Fritz Auer, Carlo Web.