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On the occasion of his first official visit to Germany in September 2006, Pope Benedict XVI celebrated a mass in front of more than 250,000 pilgrims near the New Munich Trade Fair Center. The cathedra of the Pope formed the highest point of the polygonal altar island. It was sheltered by a filigree membrane structure similar to the traditional Catholic canopy. The membrane structure had the form of a five point sail whose front-edge supporting posts raised up the major part of the expanse. The rear sail formation pulled the membrane down behind the altar island. The result was a wonderfully light superstructure, the supports of which were scarcely perceptible – but that nevertheless fulfilled the highest safety requirements.

Design: Axel Schindlbeck for Werner Sobek

Planning time: 2006

Client: Erzbischöfliches Ordinariat München, 

Photo: © Zooey Braun

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