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The German pavilion had a history marked by strife and dispute. In autumn 1989, Stuttgart architects Fritz Auer and Carlo Weber (former partners of Günter Behnisch on the design of the Munich Olympic park), won the first prize in the competition for the design of the German EXPO contribution. Their filigree design featured water cooled steel beams and rotatable sunshades, built over an artificial lake. When it was presented in Seville in the spring of 1990 it was rejected for two reasons. In the first place the work of artist Albert Hein, a sculptor living in Munich and commissioned by the architects for the interior design, comprising a "German Landscape" full of self-irony was disliked by the jury. Secondly the federal building commission in Bonn calculated that the costs for the pavilion would be more than double the 27 million German Mark budget.

The alternative pavilion design came off the shelf of architect Georg Lippsmeier and was an adaptation of a 1988 design originally intended for the German Industry Show in New Delhi. The pronounced roof gave the building an unusual and interesting shape. An angled 45 metre high pylon eccentrically supported a giant oval inflated roof made of sail cloth. The roof covered an open structure accessible from all sides and comprising four tiered terraces. Because Lippsmeier was too directly involved in the competition proceedings - he had acted as consultant to the committee - the IPL company in Radolfzell, working under the leadership of Harald Mühlberger, took over the planning and design of the pavilion, which ultimately cost 30 million German Marks.

Visitors were able to enjoy Bavarian cuisine, served in the square in front of the building which was also covered by a large sun roof. A merry-go-round featured heroes from Spanish and German picaresque novels, like Till Eulenspiegel, Baron Münchhausen, and Don Quixote. The building housed the mandatory pieces of the Berlin Wall and a production by the Berlin-based theatre set designers Harald Koppelwieser and Manfred Gruber: A walk through Germany's cultural history showing intellectual greats in Alexander von Humbold's study, Lilienthal's first hang-glider and a video film of German family life.

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The Seville World Exposition 1992
A history marked by strife and dispute
Year: 1992City: SevillaCountry: Spain
Duration: 20th April - 12th October 1992



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