DUSSELDORF, GERMANY — So, you say K'98 wasn't quite big enough.
Well, your friendly German hosts are working on that.
On Oct. 23, work started on a 259,200-square-foot addition — New Hall 6. The project will be complete in April 2000, in plenty of time for K'01.
Officials from Messe Dusseldorf GmbH, the firm that runs the mega-convention complex, said the addition is needed urgently to create extra space for K and other major international trade fairs.
The roof of the new hall will be held up by just four pillars spaced about 297 feet apart, leaving an inner area the size of two football fields entirely free of supports. Most of the hall will be 79 feet high, making it taller than any of Messe Dusseldorf's 15 existing halls.
And a new feature for claustrophobic show-goers — Hall 6 will be the center's first with windows.
Two sliding connectors will link New Hall 6 with existing Halls 5 and 6 during trade shows.
The 150 million deutsche mark ($90.2 million) hall will be connected to the nearby Rhine Stadium, and will feature sliding grandstands with seating for about 12,000. That will allow it to accommodate events including television shows, shareholders' meetings and sports events.
The new hall is part of the Messe Dusseldorf 2004 plan, which also includes a new South Entrance, a 300-room hotel, a new Inter-City Express rail station near the trade fair, and a new Rhine River bridge.
K'98 featured 2,655 exhibitors from 49 nations, an increase of 260 exhibitors from the last show, in 1995. This year's event occupied 1.48 million square feet of space, down slightly from the 1995 show.