Sports Hall Extension
Ghent, Belgium, 2012 - 2020
open call invited competition, 1st Prize
HOGESCHOOL GENT HOG, Gent
Kortrijksesteenweg 14, 9000 Gent, Belgium
Total floor area
glass, reflection panels
(Jurij Sadar, Boštjan Vuga, Miha Čebulj, Mirjam Milič, Grega Mervič)
(Bart Lens, Sönke Timm)
Atelier One + Bureau Partners nv
Bureau Partners nv
Snoeck & Partners nv
The new extension of the campus sports hall marks the northern entrance to campus.
Considering the existing conditions, the new building’s structural and programmatical core – entrance hall and fitness centre – is based along the northern wall of the existing sports hall. Its placement makes it a mediator between the campus and the city.
Its raised reflective volume is lifted from the ground on a cantilever, exposing the glazed ground floor and its athletic occupants to the surroundings. Once inside the building, the visitor is directed upstairs and onto a raised viewing platform which encircles and overlooks the action on the lower court.
The exterior of the building is deliberately designed as an abstract volume, which allows it to attach and coexist with the existing sports hall. A prudent decision in positioning walkways of the campus to flow throughout the sports hall program resulted in a public promenade inside of the sports hall, which is inviting and intriguing for the outside visitor. On the city side concave and on the campus side convex façade is, besides the positioning and its openings, a fairly responsive component to the building.
The visual connection between the interior and exterior was ensured by raising the volume northside, which opens up a glass strip. The interior sports area is thus visible to the city, making the building an extension of the urban space.
The monolithic volume is simple, compact, almost abstract, but nonetheless not neutral. Its half-reflective convex-concave surface reflects the immediate surroundings in a blurred fashion and the movements distorted. Reflections of the bypassing trains, cars, pedestrians, and athletes – along with the sports activities in the hall – are constantly creating a new image of the building.