***image1***Motorists driving in the center of Kaiserslautern won’t be able to use the parking lot between Fackelbrunnen fountain and Karstadt department store until June 19.
This week, preparation works started to put up a giant pavilion which looks like a soccer ball. This world cup globe is a 20-meter high ball, based on plans by the American architect Richard Buckminster Fuller and created by multimedia artist Andre Heller. The globe is part of an arts and entertainment program sponsored by the German government and the local organizational committee.
Exactly 1,000 days before the official opening of the Soccer World Cup in 2006, the globe was opened in Berlin, before it started its 3-year tour through all 12 world cup cities. Kaiserslautern will be the eighth location to host it. To date, more than half a million people explored the pavilion.
Visitors walk up 27 steps and enter a virtual adventure world where soccer is the main topic. Many attractions inside the globe to include interactive games, virtual installations and panorama projections will lure visitors of each age group.
Soccer trophies dominate the first level, and a high-tech command post can be found on the second level.
The globe is made of 60 tons of steel. About 4.8 kilometers of media cables must be laid. At night, 20,000 power light diodes will light up the object. Forty speaker systems provide a perfect sound, and 40 headlights and six moving lights take care of the lighting inside.
The construction looks like a real soccer ball made of 20 six- and 12 five-corners. Its significant architecture combines the picture of a world globe with the shape of a soccer ball and symbolizes the world-wide fascination for soccer that unites nations.
About 15 low loaders will bring all parts for the globe. To set up a Rolling Stones concert the same amount of trucks are needed.
The soccer globe will open May 17. Daily hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. On weekends, hours are different. Admission fee is €2 for adults and €1 for children. Children younger than 10 are admitted free.
(Information provided by the Kaiserslautern World Cup 2006 office)