The Green Arena  
[Translate to englisch:] Die Grüne Hauptstadtarena



The design for the construction of the Max-Schmeling-Halle was developed within the scope of an international architecture competition in connection with Berlin's bid to host the Olympics in 2000 that was won by the architecture practice Dietz·Joppien Architekten in 1992.

Urban planning concept

The land adjacent to and around the Max-Schmeling-Halle (it is surrounded by the Friedrich-Ludwig-Jahn-Sportpark sports complex and the Mauerpark) harboured specific challenges due to piled up rubble from buildings damaged during the Second World War.

The search for spatial balance between the imposing structure of a multipurpose sports arena on the one hand and Berlin's urban density on the other resulted in the development of a concept for embedding 70 percent of the arena into the already existing site conditions.

The visible parts of the Max-Schmeling-Halle building were designed in the form of a green bridge; the entire arena therefore blends into the topography of the overgrown pile of rubble and blurs the boundaries between the city districts of Prenzlauer Berg and Wedding. It becomes an integral element of the urban landscape around Falkplatz, the Mauerpark and the Jahn-Sportpark.



Living roof

The Max-Schmeling-Halle has an expansive living roof in the form of a bridge that connects the districts of Prenzlauer Berg and Wedding with each other. The roof was covered with a layer of substrate consisting of a wide range of grasses, herbs and perennials.

This living roof offers many natural benefits. On the one hand, it contributes to rainwater retention and delays its drainage, both of which reduces the volume discharged into the sewage system. On the other, the living roof helps to reduce the building's energy consumption as it cools down the environment in the summer and provides additional insulation in the winter.

Furthermore, the living roof also contributes to improving the city's air quality and to increasing its biodiversity by providing habitats for insects and birds.


Landscape maintenance with sheep

From spring to autumn, sheep graze on the living roof. They "mow" the roof in a sustainable and natural way. The cute Swedish visitors are "Gute" sheep, Sweden's oldest sheep landrace. In their home country, they enjoy cultural heritage status. Besides doing their job as natural lawnmowers, they are also part-time models and are photographed and admired by many passersby.

Bee site

Several bee colonies live on the roof of the Max-Schmeling-Halle. Beekeeper Wolfgang Wagner looks after and takes care of these wild bees. Velomax Berlin is delighted about this bee- and eco-friendly partnership and its annual result, the honey.

The fox den

The Max-Schmeling-Halle is not only the "den" of the Füchse Berlin handball team; some of the real foxes in the Prenzlauer Berg district also have their dens in its grounds.

Protection of birds

For smaller bird species, "Morgenvogel" bird houses have been attached to the trees in the grounds of the Max-Schmeling-Halle; they guarantee safe nesting places for these species and protect them from falling prey to their larger fellow birds and other animals.

Furthermore, transparent bird window stickers have been attached to the glass and window panes in the management area to provide visible obstacles to birds in flight and to thereby prevent accidental collisions.

Berlin Recycling Volleys net carbon match day, October 2022

Under the motto of "First Berlin Recycling Volleys Climate Conscious Match Day", the volleyball team wanted to highlight the measures that will be necessary in future to guarantee an event day that is as sustainable as possible, and how the Berlin Recycling Volleys and their fans can contribute to this. See here for more information.


Füchse Berlin 2022/23 season sustainability initiative

The handball club Füchse Berlin has been officially net carbon certified since the start of the 2022/23 season and is pursuing an important and new future-focused approach with its sustainability campaign. The carbon footprint of the high performing Füchse Berlin teams was measured with the help of ClimatePartner, the market leader in the area of corporate climate action with over 6,000 clients from all industry sectors. See here for more information.


Green events

Social Day September 2022

For many years, the motto of Berlin's annual volunteer days in September, the Berliner Freiwilligentage organised by the charity Paritätischer Wohlfahrtsverband LV Berlin e.V. and the local daily newspaper Tagesspiegel, has been "Gemeinsame Sache", joint effort.

Armed with spades, wheelbarrows and plenty of enthusiasm, teams from Velomax and companies from the Gegenbauer group of companies' other divisions planted an around 50m long wild hedge in the grounds of the Max-Schmeling-Halle. The idea for the hedge came from the Berlin branch of NABU (Germany's Nature And Biodiversity Conservation Union). Although hedges and shrubs play an important role in ecosystems, for example as nesting places for birds or refuges for small animals and insects, they tend to have something of an image problem compared to trees or wildflower meadows. The NABU therefore appealed to people to plant such native species hedges, which not only look beautiful but are also valuable for pollinating insects. See here for more information about the NABU's campaign (in german).




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