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Sports centre Zaanstad Zuid // UArchitects

Zaanstad, NH, Netherlands

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Text description provided by the architects.

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.

© UArchitects

© UArchitects

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.

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© UArchitects

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.

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© UArchitects

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’.

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© UArchitects

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.

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© UArchitects

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.

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© UArchitects

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.

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© UArchitects

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.

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© UArchitects

Materials 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.

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© UArchitects

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. The use of a wooden roof sets the tone for the experience in the sports hall.

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© UArchitects

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.

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© UArchitects

Te chnics The building is subdivided in two parts both structurally and in terms of fire specifications: the competition area with the spectators stand and the adjacent part with the dressing rooms and cafeteria. The backbone of the building can be found at the point where the two parts face each other.

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© UArchitects

This is where you will find the main hub of all installations, meter boxes, the lift and the heat recovery ventilator on the roof. Central heat/cold generation was realized by using an air-to-water heat pump combined with a high performance condensing boiler to accommodate peak capacity. Warm water is generated by a combination of solar collectors, a boiler tank and a heat exchanger, all connected to the condensing boiler.

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© UArchitects

The building is equipped with an underfloor heating and cooling system. Due to the large heating surface this creates a pleasant hall temperature profile for sportsmen. In addition, the sports hall is equipped with a balanced ventilation system with highly-efficient heat recovery. “This new sports centre is an expression of the dynamics of sports and enhances the position and meaning of sports in modern-day society.”.

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© UArchitects

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