The Centennial Hall in Wrocław
It is not often that a building that is merely 100 years old is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site but the construction of the Centennial Hall is one of the turning points in the history of the utilisation of steel in the construction industry. The "Centennial Hall" in Wroclaw was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site on July 13, 2006, under its original German name as "Hala Stulecia" (German: Jahrhunderthalle in Breslau; the Centennial Hall in Wroclaw).
It was constructed between 1911 and 1913 in commemoration of the hundredth anniversary of the Battle of Nations, fought with Napoleon in 1813. Its other purpose was to serve as the focal point for the great Centennial Exhibition. The city allocated a large piece of land for this purpose, on the edge of Szczytnicki Park, close to the Zoological Garden and on the site of a horse racing track which was open till 1907. In the competition to develop the site, Max Berg was chosen from among 43 other designers, not surprisingly, as he was also the urban architect of Wroclaw. His project was met with loud protests from his competitors, as is frequently the case in such situations. Nevertheless and regardless of the high construction costs (1.9 million Reich Mark), the formal building permit was issued on June 28, 1911.
At the time of its construction, the Hall had the largest reinforced concrete roof in the world. The covering central cupola had a diameter of 67 metres with a maximum width of the interior dimensions of 95 metres. The available surface of the floor space totals 14,000 square metres. The Hall is spacious with a height of 43 metres at its highest point. A further 56 exhibition rooms and vast lobbies were planned around the central hall. It was estimated that the "Jahrhunderthalle" exhibition centre could hold more than 10,000 visitors at any one time.