Historic preservation protected building

Schwimmoper wuppertal

The Wuppertal ‘Schwimmoper’ was built to plans by Friedrich Hetzelt in the years 1953 to 1956 and is considered the pearl of the Wuppertal architectural history. An extensive renovation in 2007 should make the listed city pool once again to a modern spa and sports center in North Rhine-Westphalia.

The Challenge

The purpose was to create an ultra-modern sports pool with international standards for the hosting of swimming competitions. In contrast, a demand existed for the preservation of monuments. The structure was, and is, protected and is typical of the architectural elements to maintain the greatest possible preservation – including the listed exterior facade, which was insulated with a mineral thermal insulation composite system to the latest energy standards at that time.

The Solution

A variety of structural changes were necessary to convert an old swimming pool into a modern spa and sports center. Our Group was specifically tasked with developing and designing a facade system which meets the particular requirements of statics and building physics.
A combination of skilled engineers designed a thermal insulation system implemented on a carrier plate, which was mounted on a steel structure made of special sections. Thus, each joint was calculated and checked separately.




grandstand underside

A particular challenge here was to insulate buildings with sloping ceilings, for which a special substructure had to be developed. Before work could be approached on the very energetic exercise, the entire design had to be verified statistically to avoid potential problems in advance. The insulation work was installed on all surfaces and components in such a manner that the overall impression of the building was not changed noticeably.
The interface design had to be done very carefully in order to achieve the most free surfaces. With the big, – not interrupted by openings – surfaces that are constantly “sidelight” exposed, was handcrafted finesse required. In sum, the facade work, the application of a thermal skin facade, the unique architecture of the Schwimmoper Wuppertal retained its overall expression.

After nearly five years of planning and construction, in March 2010, the Wuppertal Opera could be opened to swimming again and has been honored several times since then.

Contact person



  • Engineering 
  • Static test / static
  • Construction supervision 
  • Facade systems
  • Fastening systems
  • Thermal insulation composite system
  • Steel substructure


  • Astrid Theisen