On June 17, 1972, the Augsburg Congress Hall was opened. This was built at the same time as the hotel tower and the Olympic rink on the ice rink. In 2009 the exposed concrete building was placed under monumental protection and reopened in 2012 after two years of energy and optical renewal as a congress in the park.
Kongress am Park has become the cultural meeting place in Swabia, has an impact beyond the Bavarian borders and has contributed to the improvement of the city’s image. It is also an important source of inspiration for Augsburg’s development as a congress destination. For Götz Beck, managing director of Kongress am Park Betriebs GmbH, one thing is certain: “The congress and conference market in particular will make a significant contribution to the tourism revitalization of Augsburg and the region”.
The ensemble enjoys cult status in professional circles as an example of “best practice” for the revival of postwar modernism. It is a monument to brutalism (béton brut) in Bavaria, but thanks to an energy efficient climate concept by Stadtwerke Augsburg it is also a “monument to the future” in climate change, where built architecture is understood as a resource for culture, economic and ecological sustainability.
Thanks to the energy renovation, energy consumption during operation was reduced by 70 percent compared to the time before closing. This result can also be achieved thanks to the management and monitoring of energy by Stadtwerke Augsburg. Photovoltaics and a combined thermal power plant generate heat and electricity in an efficient, environmentally friendly and also innovative way: Germany’s first fuel cell in a conference center provides heat and electricity with a high level of efficiency. The regulation and control technology ensures an adequate supply of fresh air as well as pleasant room temperatures and adequate humidity. Electricity is obtained from energy suppliers who operate hydroelectric plants in the region.
For a trip that is as carbon-neutral as possible, conference and congress attendees are advised to purchase the event ticket with 100% green electricity in Deutsche Bahn’s local and long-distance transport.
Since 2012, Max Speidel’s ‘Béton brut’ architecture has been deliberately staged by an award-winning lighting concept that uses LEDs to create colorful accents and uses vintage lighting elements from the year of construction.
Design classics faithful to the style of the 70s, such as the orange Pantonova lounge chair by Verner Panton – which has meanwhile become a cult object – harmonize with the exposed concrete of post-war modernism. The special feel-good background is also based on carefully selected new design objects such as the pink “Plasma” living room furniture by Danish designers Busk and Hertzog.
Kongress am Park has long responded to the demand for hybrid events, which has recently been strengthened by the corona pandemic. Hybrid means: many participants meet on the spot as usual. In addition, however, any other interested parties can also participate in the events. The virtual rooms and technical service allow event formats from small online conferences to live streaming to large hybrid events. In principle, the combination of face-to-face and online participation in such events broadens the circle of potential participants around the world.
Götz Beck: “Virtual halls have the advantage that we can now acquire events that previously could not come to Augsburg due to the large number of attendees.” Götz Beck knows that conferences change things. He sees great future potential in hybrid events as a conference and congress format. Beck: “Experts even predict a golden age for the conference and convention industry.”
WEEK END AT HOME OPEN
On Saturday 28 May and Sunday 29 May Kongress am Park will celebrate with an open house weekend and the opening of the anniversary exhibition “50 Years of Encounters. Exchange. Inspiration. Experience. “Visitors can expect a colorful program with behind-the-scenes guided tours, Konstantin Lukinov live on the piano, FC Augsburg activities, the exhibition” Modular Festival im Kongress am Park “, a live interview with Olympic legend Karl Heinz Englet and a brilliant concert with organ luminary Hansjörg Albrecht Read more about the program.
The anniversary exhibit will be on display at Kongress am Park until the end of 2022.
Further information can be found at www.kongress-augsburg.de
Note Canoe World Cup:
From late July to late August, the “50 Years of the Olympic Games in Augsburg” exhibition can be visited in the Kongress am Park as part of the 2022 Canoe Slalom World Championships. It deals with the history of the ice rink as an Olympic site, from its construction in 1972 at the 2022 World Cup.