The 23rd IAKS Congress was a major success. The congress focused on current global trends for sports and leisure facility construction and presented pioneering projects. A total of 45 experts were on hand at the four-day congress to present architectural and operating solutions that promote top athletic performance, health-consciousness and an active lifestyle. Some 550 participants from 38 nations attended presentations of topics that included a review of sports facilities in London, their further development, and efforts to achieve greater sustainability in terms of ecology, economy and social cohesion. The final day of the congress was dedicated to the topic “Activating Urban Spaces”.
“The IAKS Congress and the accompanying specialist conferences offered excellent opportunities for establishing contact with sector representatives from all over the world,” said Holthoff-Pförtner. “The perfect symbiosis between FSB and the IAKS Congress makes Cologne the centre of the international sports and leisure sector every two years.” Delegations from around the world — including those from North America, China and Russia — made intensive use of the opportunity for the interdisciplinary and intercultural sharing of knowledge at the highest level.
The IAKS Congress received top-level support from international and national sporting bodies. Dr. Thomas Bach, President of the International Olympic Committee, Sir Philip Craven, President of the International Paralympic Committee, Marius L. Vizer, President of Sportaccord, and Dr. Hans-Peter Friedrich, Germany's Minister of the Interior, have agreed to act as official patrons.
The high point of the IAKS Congress has traditionally been the presentation of the IOC/IAKS Award and the IPC/IAKS Distinction for Accessibility. The IOC/IAKS Award 2013 jury presented three facilities with an award in gold, five with an award in silver and 12 with one in bronze, and also handed out three special prizes. The IPC/IAKS Distinction for Accessibility was presented to five barrier-free sports facilities. The prize-winning facilities are located in 13 different countries around the world. The most successful architecture firm in the competition was von Gerkan, Marg und Partner from Hamburg (gmp). The firm designed Bao’An Stadium in Shenzhen, the Shanghai Oriental Sports Center (each one received a gold award) and Naradowy Stadium in Warsaw (bronze).