Under the slogan “We Are Soccer” the world’s most popular type of sport is now being made tangible in Germany. With the DFB Museum in Dortmund, Germany, as the ﬁrst soccer museum, a separate cultural monument is being dedicated to the leather ball. The exhibition organizer wants to impart the 90-minute game in all its facets to the public there – namely in a playful manner. In an experience-oriented exhibition, each of the approximately 1,600 exhibits such as the WC ﬁnal game ball from 1954 tells its own story and a variety of interactive elements guides the visitor through the world of soccer. But in the museum landscape the point is not just the collections inside. Rather, unusual museum structures from around the world enrich our architecture and the buildings mirror the spirit of the times and our emotions. In the middle of a modern communication concept, in Dortmund also stands a prominent building envelope that, in the best location in town right at the main train station, attracts attention to itself – just like soccer does on the playing ﬁeld. The building envelope of the DFB Museum creates an association to beautifully stage the topic of soccer from outside. The light-metal facade from POHL provides the necessary dynamics here.
Hexagonal ﬁelds that cover the entire facade and the roof create the pattern of a soccer ﬁeld. To imitate the pattern with perforations, the company from Cologne developed a 3,800 m² facade solution. To accomplish that, 1,075 white sheets were fabricated with sportsmanlike ambition. A special hole pattern created the ball effect. This was accomplished with the aid of a new machine that has its origins in wood machining and was specially adapted to sheet-metal machining. The openings in DIN A4 size were milled out. The arising hole pattern creates a transparent and open building character. Since the sheets do not need any lateral ﬂashing, they are sharp-edged and in the end promote the stability of the whole. To keep the entire construct insensitive even during wind and weather, U-shaped reinforcing frames and heavy steel brackets are attached to the rear as support steel-work.
Aluminium is unbeatable on the playing ﬁeld. The material turns out to be exceptionally weather resistant. As a durable light metal, aluminium scores with its outstanding strength despite its low weight. 100 years ago the material conquered civil engineering and since then, as the most-used material following steel, has been on the cutting edge of appearance and functionality. Aluminium is easy to shape while remaining highly stable. Its plasticity opens a multitude of design options. In that aluminium covers itself upon contact with oxygen with a thick oxide coating, the material is moreover corrosion resistant.
The special challenge was processing the aluminium sheets. Whenever individual special solutions are required, the fourth generation of the family-managed company has been able to establish itself during numerous national and international projects as the partner of choice – and that once more with the Düsseldorf HPP architects. To create the desired metallic effect of the white colored sheets, the paint was enriched with small metal particles and the powder for the wet coating was manufactured at POHL plant-speciﬁc. The result is a special effect that impresses with a subtle iridescent luster typical for mother of pearl. “In sunshine our white sheets absolutely glitter” mentions Project Manager Peter Marquardt, expressing his enthusiasm. Depending on the meteorological conditions, they also have a gray-white effect like the opera in Sydney. To facilitate permanent paintwork in this form, POHL created an individual paint that does not lose any of its quality during furnace processing, which guarantees process stability. That is because conventional white shades persistently react very quickly to high temperatures and run the risk of turning yellow. This innovative coating is a further development of the conventional metallic paint. This effect paint does not merely look high-grade and – as the name reveals – effectual, but by admixing metallic particles the paint also becomes harder and more resistant.
Increasingly, more people can now be found in museums than in soccer stadiums in Germany. The DFB Museum has a good chance to develop into a downright public attraction. After all, it has been shown that the topic of sports has arrived in modern exhibitions and in general all topics can be exhibited that move and interest people; The museum architecture is also accorded great signiﬁcance here. And POHL is now playing in the top league of museum facade solutions.