Muther's shell structures in Germany - a solution to avoid demolition

Research output: Contribution to journalResearch articleContributedpeer-review


  • Philipp Riegelmann - , CARBOCON GmbH (Author)
  • Alexander Schumann - , CARBOCON GmbH (Author)
  • Sebastian May - , CARBOCON GmbH (Author)
  • Jakob Bochmann - , CARBOCON GmbH (Author)
  • Maria Patricia Garibaldi - , TUD Dresden University of Technology (Author)
  • Manfred Curbach - , TUD Dresden University of Technology (Author)


This article is intended to give an overview of an almost forgotten construction form - a great innovation not only in the former German Democratic Republic (GDR) but for the whole world. This type of construction, made of reinforced-concrete shell structures, was brought to perfection, inter alia, by the outstanding civil engineer Ulrich Muther, who was one of the most important engineers in Germany. These structures stand out due to their appearance and their very slim design with large spans. The material shortage in the GDR catalysed the pioneering spirit of Ulrich Muther and resulted in the possibility of building those slender structures. This article should give an overview of the life and work of Ulrich Muther, highlighting his most important shell constructions. Furthermore, the current condition state and the possibilities for preserving these architectural artworks will be discussed. By taking the example of the Hyparshell in Magdeburg, it is shown that the use of the innovative and high-performance building material carbon-reinforced concrete as a strengthening or rehabilitation system allows to keep the slim and filigree nature of the concrete structures and prevent them from being demolished.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)124-132
Number of pages9
JournalProceedings of the institution of civil engineers-Engineering history and heritage
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021
Externally publishedYes

External IDs

Scopus 85113711811
ORCID /0000-0002-1596-7164/work/142255501



  • concrete structures, history, rehabilitation, reclamation & renovation

Library keywords