Old Residence, Salzburg, Austria

Convertible membrane roof of PVC-PES fabric and ETFE foil

Technical / General informationen:

Membrane design: Convertable membrane roof of translucent PVC-PES fabric and transparent ETFE foil
Dimensions / sqm: 860
Architect: Kugel & Rein Architects
Client: SFH-Verein
Membrane Assembly: June 2012


Convertable Roof over the Patio of the Alte Residenz Salzburg

Inaugurated in summer 2012, the patio of the „Alte Residenz“ (Old Residence) in Salzburg has been regularly used for summer performances of the international known Salzburg Festival. In order to achieve weather independent performances, the “SFH-Verein” (Association for preservation and use of Salzburg Festival Theatres) requested amembrane roof of translucent PVC/PES fabric and transparent ETFE foil which could be retracted automatically in a few minutes. Thus, in any weather, the guests can be offered the unique experience of an open air event, independent from any expensive substitute indoor venue.

Following the requests of the historic society to protect the historical façades of the Old Residence from any damage, Kugel + Rein Architects und Engineers designed a temporary and also retractable structure which stands nearly loose in the patio. By only transferring minimal horizontal loads into a few designated anchors of the old structure the surrounding walls are nearly untouched. For the inner area of the circumferential lattice girder, lying on four columns and having a width of 22 m and a length of 37 m, Temme // Obermeier realized a parallel retractable membrane roof covering 1000 m² out of V-shaped segments. Standing ridge and hanging valley cables support the translucent PVC-PES fabric.

For easy roof operation the driving carriages, cables, belts, fabric details and many more elements had to be precisely developed by the Engineers in collaboration with Temme // Obermeier experts. Considering that this structure has been designed and executed as a prototype all participants have been impressed by the performance when finally moved for the first time.

When open, the membrane roof is parked under a fixed cover roof in front of the east façade. Surrounding transparent ETFE foil stripes protect the large lattice girder at all three other sides. When closed, the main roof is lying lightly and delicately over the patio, and with its curved lines forms a decent contrast to the façades of the Old Residence.