The gymnasium, mainly for a primary and secondary school and for local sports clubs, is spacious enough to hold national competitions in various disciplines. The school is embedded in a rural setting, surrounded by old farm buildings and framed by gently sloping hills and forests. In order to make a building that would adapt to the proportion of the existing village buildings, it was necessary to use landscaping strategies as an important basis for the project. The whole structure was buried into the ground as far as the local soil conditions allowed.
Sport is usually performed under open skies. This quite simple realization was the starting point for the design of this sports hall. Thus, in spite of the complex requirements for such a structure, a strong connection with the outer space should be established. The roof should appear light despite its size.
From the outside, the gymnasium appears as a box shape tilted up towards the distant hills. The box is partially expressed as a raised volume with a glazed cut separating the lower part. The rest of the volumes are on the lower height, in order to adapt to the surroundings. The entire facade on the lower height is glazed and can be opened up to provide natural ventilation, and the exterior seems to flow into the space of the gymnasium. The indoor playing field is flanked by visitor galleries above that connect to the ramping entrance. The roof structure is formed by a system of custom-made steel beams that rest on concrete parts. These sculpted columns, reminiscent of ancient figures, support the cover of the main visitor gallery. Across from this gallery the steel columns of the glazed north façade seem to formally pick up the bifurcations of the old fruit trees. They carry the expressive and volumetric roof in a very dynamic way. This project was realized in collaboration with Dieter Grundmann.
Photo credits: Paul Ott