Sports Hall Extension

Ghent, Belgium, 2012

sport, culture

open call invited competition

HOGESCHOOL GENT HOG, Kortrijksesteenweg 14, 9000 Ghent

Ghent, Belgium

Site area
3.731 m2

Building area
2.597 m2

Total floor area
19.840 m2

sports hall

steel structure

glass, reflection panels

SADAR+VUGA (Jurij Sadar, Boštjan Vuga, Jure Hrovat, Peter Sovinc, Victor Barbalato III, Andreas Cesarini, Jurij Ličen)
LENS°ASS (Bart Lens – arch., Georg Schmidthals – ir. arch., Thijs Prinsen – arch., Arian Schelstraete – int. arch., Veerle Ramaekers – arch. assistant, Ariadnna Varela – adm.)

The new sports hall becomes a northern gate to the campus. Its monolithic volume is on the northern side lifted up, opening its interior sports ground to a viewing from the surrounding. Namely, an englazed stripe under the cantilevered volume unveils activities indoor to a passer-by, drivers and visitors of the campus. A careful dimensioning of the stripe as well as its connecting to a campus pedestrian route triggers a curiosity of passers by and attracts them to enter the building. Once inside, a ramp, an access to stands in the cantilevered level, becomes a deviation of the campus pedestrian route, creating a public promenade through the building.

A visual connection between outside and inside which happens on the sports ground is interrupted by positioning a stands level in the cantilevered part of the volume: here the main focus of spectators is a sport or entertaining event on the sports ground and there should be no visual obstacles.

The new sports hall takes advantage of the existing structure: what is there already should be reused and adapted with minimum interventions. Therefore the core space at the end of the existing building gets extended and adapted to house new administration, the gym and the meeting and social areas. It becomes a mediator between the new and the existing sports hall. Its exterior facade becomes the interior wall of the new sports hall.

The monolithic volume of the new sports hall is fairly simple, compact, non structured, almost abstract.

The wrap of the volume is non-neutral. Its semi reflective concave/convex surface mediates the happenings in its immediate surroundings into the building, creating a context’s blurred and twisted appearance and emphasizing its dynamics. Movement of trains, people passing by or athletes on running tracks reflected in the building surface, together with a ‘projection of the interior sports events create an ever changing appearance of the building. Thus, the monolithic volume of the new sports hall becomes a presentation device of a sports atmosphere of the campus.