Zaha Hadid Architects has won an international competition to design the £15m Wolfsburg Science Centre in Germany.

The practice beat off 30 rival designs, including one from Wilkinson Eyre Architects. The 11 000 m2 building, due to be completed by the end of 2002, is across the River Aller from the newly built Volkswagen visitor centre in Wolfsburg, east of Hannover.

Project architect Christos Passas said the main aim behind his design was flexibility. “The main issue was to create a system that would change quite dramatically every time an exhibition is reorganised.”

He thought the competition’s organiser, the City of Wolfsburg, was impressed with the innovative use of space and structures in the design.

The building, which has an auditorium and two open exhibition areas, sits on 10 funnel-shaped 6.5 m high legs, raising the concourse above the ground floor.

“It makes the ground floor permeable, and also gives views across the river,” commented Passas.

The project, which also includes an underground car park and exterior landscaping, will be publicly launched at the start of February. Passas said the City of Wolfsburg was looking to “work fast” to complete the building on time.

Zaha Hadid Architects, which designed the Mind Zone at the Millennium Dome, is also working on a 600 m long bridge in Abu Dhabi and other projects in Strasbourg and Cincinnati.