Sports Centre, Zaanstad Zuid Building Development, Dutch Health Facility, Architecture Images
Sports Centre Building in Zaanstad Zuid, Holland
16 Mar 2020
Zaanstad Sports Centre
Location: Zaanstad, the Netherlands
The city of Zaanstad in The Netherlands does have high ambitions in the field of sports. Playing sports should be possible for people of all ages, cultures and religions. Although it would be easier to realize the new sports centre on the outskirts of the town, the municipality has chosen to implement the new sports centre in the heart of the district. Sport is thus prominently among the other public facilities.
With the architecture of the Zaanstad Sports Centre we wanted to reinforce the importance of sport in society. We connected the building with the existing and new routes in the urban field to create a strong social interaction. The building is inviting, accessible, and the best is that the sports centre is used almost 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The sports centre as a social hub.
The new Zaanstad-Zuid sports centre building has been built in the Poelenburg district next to the street De Weer. The urban development between the green area on De Weer street and the water alongside the M.L. Kingweg alternates between enclosed blocks of houses and businesses and a more open arrangement of school buildings and a religious centre.
The sports centre has been built within the same building block as the adjacent colleges, Pascal-Zuid and De Faam. As a result, both buildings share the same playground.
During the day, the sports hall is used by these schools and it is subdivided into three areas. The students use the day entrance which opens directly into the playground. In the evenings and at the weekends the sports hall is used by sports associations and neighbourhood groups who make use of the cafeteria area, the conference room, and the spectator stands which can hold 300 people. The evening entrance is on the other side of the building on De Weer street.
The change in use between day and evening is the basis of the concept. The routes from the side entrance in the playground and the route from the main entrance on De Weer street are the basis of the spatial structure.
We deliberately chose not to approach the sports hall as an ‘enclosed box’. Instead we researched ways to open it up. In strategic places, we have opened up the sports hall to the outside world, allowing interaction with the public domain.
Windows were positioned at various heights in the sports hall, high windows towards the sky and low windows towards the ground. The large, high windows below the ceiling which allow daylight to come in from the north are extremely useful during gym lessons.
The low windows allow the outside world to see the gym hall being used; passers-by can see the legs of the sportsmen as they run in the hall, while at the same time ensuring that the sportsmen inside are not blinded by backlight as they score the winning goal. By positioning the windows diagonally, daylight shines through the whole sports hall, from corner to corner.
In order to reflect the interaction between the building and its surroundings in various ways, we designed an exterior façade that can display this interaction in a subtle way. A façade made of vertical polycarbonate panels is closed in some places, perforated with openings in other places, and designed to be a semi-transparent double skin in yet other areas.
The cafeteria, the waiting area and part of the sports hall open towards the street and the park, giving the neighbourhood visibility to the activities inside hereby contributing to the social vitality especially in the evenings. At night, the semi-transparent façade displays the collective activities to the outside world and enhances the appearance of the sports hall as a light beacon for the neighbourhood.
The layered façade allows gym teachers in the sports hall and spectators in the stands to interact with the outside world during the day, in terms of view and daylight, while at the same time preventing direct sunlight from shining in at other times of the day and disrupting the activities of sports associations.
The concept based on the difference between the use during the day and during the evening was also the basis for the layout of the façade. On the upper surfaces, the polycarbonate façade reveals the sports activities and the neighbourhood meetings in the evenings. On the lower surfaces, a grey-coloured brick has been used and behind this are the dressing rooms and the areas for school which are used during the day.
For the brickwork a light brick has been used, laid in a tile pattern. Especially for this project the frog was replaced by an indented relief of two round cut-aways giving the façades a subtle shadow pattern which contrasts with the upper semi-transparent polycarbonate façade.
Structural wooden roof
The use of a wooden roof sets the tone for the experience in the sports hall. The structural wooden roof which also functions as ceiling greatly adds to the experience of sportsmen and spectators. The perforation pattern adds a nuanced appearance to the enormous ceiling surface.
The aim for the hallways, cafeteria and dressing rooms was to create an interior that challenged people to move. Floor patterns and artwork inspire the sportsmen to move, effectively starting the warm-up session before they get to the dressing rooms.
Sports Centre Building in Holland – Building Information
Location: Zaanstad, the Netherlands – north of Amsterdam
Images: Daan Dijkmeijer
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