Dortmund Sportshall

Dortmund, Germany, 2020


international competition

The City of Dortmund

Unionviertel, Dortmund

Site area
8.476 m2

Building area
5.235 m2

sports hall, foyer, visitor stands, VIP, plaza

reinforced concrete, laminated timber

glass, suspended steel construction, plant containers

SADAR+VUGA (Jurij Sadar, Boštjan Vuga, Jure Sadar, Petko Grabljić, Silvia Torano Pereda, Matjaž Bahor)

JSWD Architekten (Christian Mammel, Tobia Unterberg, Anesa Mesic, Armin Memic)



Landscape architecture
Studio AKKA

The proposed Dortmund sports hall is located in the Unionviertel in the city of Dortmund. The sports hall forms the end of an axis of relevant public buildings on the edge of the city center, from the city museums to the city library, and the Dortmund city train. The new building stands out in terms of its size and positioning, thus creating a new public space in the urban development context in relation to the other important buildings. The building will be a new important urban element, a sports hall with a double public use: on one hand a hall for sporting competitions, on the other hand, a sports hall for students and clubs – this is reflected in the appearance and the internal organization.

The new building is positioned in the northwest corner of the site, enlarging the entrance area, which becomes a square in relation to the newly established avenue. The square is divided into two levels according to the topography. Therefore the building has two access levels with two assigned urban open areas that indirectly respond to the surroundings vie façade and its openings. The upper foyer for visitors and competition events is connected and opened towards the axis of the city of Dortmund, while the lower foyer serves as access for athletes, schoolchildren, and staff.

The main component of the building is a highly functional and flexible “sports machine” – an arena for events with 3250 spectators or a division into 4 school sports halls. Access to this “sports machine” takes place on the three levels of the foyer: lower / active foyer, main / visitor foyer, and upper foyer / VIP. All foyers are either directly physically or visually connected to the outside spaces in front of the building.

The building visually and structurally consists of three horizontal layers. The base envelops the whole building: its vertical massive wall along the west side, which then opens to the north, becomes the ground floor of the lower foyer and main square and continues around the perimeter of the building. It also connects the building context physically, through walls and sidewalk surfaces leading to the newly formed square. The transparent layer opening to the main square and the hall level underlines the public character of the building. It invites the visitor and communicates what is happening inside the hall.

The façade is enclosed with easy-care greenery. The plant variety and the position of the plants help with the diversity of the façade, which is changing at different times in the year/day, on different occasions, and in different weather conditions. The roof is an abstract, floating volume that has the presence of the building on both macro and micro levels in the urban space.

The new Dortmund sports hall harmonizes different prospects of design to satisfy sustainable guidelines – it uses sustainable building materials, local and regenerative energy (photovoltaics), and can also be naturally ventilated regarding its positioning and orientation.