The idyllic surroundings and riverside setting played a crucial role in the design of the new festival hall in Neckartailfingen. The intertwining branches of the nearby tree-lined Neckarallee are reflected architecturally in the roof construction and form a defining element of this building. In addition to the roof, the extensive use of glass in the hall and foyer are another important design feature. They offer visitors an uninterrupted view of the natural surroundings.

The new festival hall was designed by architecture firm Ackermann + Raff, which has offices in Tübingen and Stuttgart. It replaced a 20th century building that was no longer useable. Unlike its predecessor, the entrance space of the new building is clearly oriented toward Neckarallee and the river. In front of the main entrance is a generously roportioned open space, which can be used for open-air events when the weather allows. The festival square in front of the hall also enables visitors to enjoy the riverside location. The access road to the festival hall was reconstructed further away from the river as part of the redevelopment, thus enabling this open space and its relationship with the river to take shape.

The hall itself is the mediating element between the river Neckar and the festival square, and it forms the spatial conclusion of Neckarallee. The roof structure is a gridshell, which is formed through incorporated steel plates at the joints of main beams and secondary beams. The diamond-shaped grid is designed to reflect the overlapping branches of the trees along Neckarallee. The biaxially stressed construction of the grid is formed from visible glulam beams. The support structure has been designed so that the roof structure does not rest directly on the post-and-rail facade, thus creating a more delicate appearance. The individual diamond-shaped fields are made from white varnished wooden panels tilted at various angles to give a lively ceiling landscape. This ceiling canopy also conceals installations housed within the roof construction. For the exterior, the roof was planted extensively with greenery, creating a virtually fifth facade and giving the building a particularly attractive appearance when viewed from an elevated position in the town. The festival hall itself is divided into two parts: The back-of-house area with all the necessary facilities for the stage, including the multi-purpose room; and the open area of the event room and all the facilities for visitors. While the front has been amply glazed, the closed facade in the northern part comprises rear-ventilated fiber cement boards. The public spaces, such as the hall, foyer, and multi-purpose area, are connected in visual terms with end-to-end polished screed flooring.

“The Allplan BIM solution made for trouble-free collaboration with our specialist planners.”
GF Walter Fritz, Ackermann+Raff Architekten

Ackermann + Raff was established in 1985 by Prof. Gerd Ackermann and Prof. Hellmut Raff in Tübingen. It currently has 45 employees spread across two locations in Tübingen and Stuttgart. The objective of Ackermann + Raff is to plan and design high-quality and sustainable architecture, while optimising costs, energy, and deadlines. They build primarily for public-sector clients, industry and businesses, local designh build house companies, and social facilities. Their buildings result from an intense exploration of the building project and the opportunities and conditions presented by a site. Existing qualities are constantly questioned and transformed into new forms. This process leads to tailored and independent solutions without any influence from passing fashions.

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