The new ski jump was completed just in time, to the very last minute before 100.000 visitors came to the little town in the Sauerland on the first weekend in February 2001 in order to see the most important sporting event of the year in Hesse: the FIS ski jump Word Cup. The jump had not even been tested before and nobody knew if it would fulfil everyone’s expectations.
With the costs of about 6 million Euros the ski jump was to guarantee a spectacular World Cup. The construction was exemplary of the new generation of ski jumps and was followed by the Bergisel jump by Zaha Hadid – buildt almost at the same time – and others.
Since the modern technique of V-style jumping had been established, the traditional jumps no longer met the demands of international ski jumping. A steeper angle of run-up is required for this style, permitting optimal speed and take-off angle.
We had to keep a very narrow deadline – the old wooden ski jump tower dating from 1962 had to be replaced in no more than 11 months – until the beginning of the World Cup. Due to weather conditions, the actual building time was even less: 5 months.
The result is a very impressive precise steel construction: prefabricated in matt, anthracite-grey steel, the 107 metre long, more than 80 ton heavy run up track with the 45 “hatches” (area through which the jumpers enter the track), the “head of the jump” with a warming up room, a filigree escape stairway and the round, oblique supports, which—bracing each other reciprocally in pairs—hold the steel trough of the run-up track in position.
The Mühlenkopf Jump is an elegant synthesis of modern technology, form and statics in a rather technical structure.
Oriented on the environs, a thick mixed forest area of tall trees, the thirty-metre lift tower—closed on three sides—was covered in slats of larch wood. It will age in a light grey. The side facing the valley is glazed in a greenish glass.
The first World Cup weekend at the new jump was very successful: Polish jumper Adam Malysz made a new jump record of 151.5 metres and won the gold medal.