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FIRST LOOK

FaulknerBrowns wraps new Dutch sports campus in a stainless steel ‘ribbon’

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The new centre houses both academic and sports facilities for students and the public

Located in The Hague’s historic Zuiderpark, this new €50 million, 33,000m² sports campus includes a gymnastics hall, beach sports hall, spectator arena and a multi-purpose sports hall, as well as a variety of sports science and education spaces. 

During the day the sports facilities are used for education by the Haagse Hogeschool (The Hague University of Applied Sciences) and ROC Mondriaan, and for performance training by a variety of sports organisations. During the evening and at weekends the facilities are made available to the public.

Sportcampus zuiderpark 08022018 008

The campus will also serve as a ‘knowledge centre’ for sports and exercise, becoming a part of the Center for Elite Sports and Education for the metropolitan area of The Hague-Rotterdam. A number of organisations will use the campus to carry out research alongside the education programmes based on site. 

Architect’s view

Our design solution is an interpretation of the brief to embody within the campus the principles of ‘motion and activity’. This is expressed externally in the fluid movement of the elevational treatment. At ground level, the curved form of the plan is expressed by a simple plinth constructed from textured precast concrete panels. The upper part of the elevation is expressed as a metallic ‘ribbon’ that narrows and twists to reveal glazing on the elevation. Constructed from brightly polished stainless steel, the dynamic ribbon changes colour with different lighting conditions and cloud patterns, as well as reflecting the animation of its natural setting.

Sportcampus zuiderpark faulknerbrowns architects l1 plan annotated

As the Zuiderpark is listed as a ‘national monument’, the building has been designed to preserve the unique character of its historic surroundings. The curved nature of the building creates the perception that the building’s edges are retreating into the distance, minimising its scale. The largest interior volumes – primarily the areas for sport – have been situated to the rear of the building, allowing for the height to be reduced significantly at the front, where the majority of the education spaces are located. The high-sided rear elevation has been positioned to respond directly to the urban city context, while the front elevation responds at a human scale to the public parkland. Here, an animated entrance courtyard acts as an extension to the park, creating a physical link between the campus and the main approach routes.

The building is designed to be as compact as possible, while providing the necessary space for the range of sport and education facilities. Combined with a well-insulated shell, this means energy loss is minimised. The 20,000m² roof is covered with over 15,000m² of heat-regulating green sedum, as well as photovoltaic solar panels to generate energy for the building and solar collectors to produce hot water for the showers. The energy generated by the roof is supplemented by a groundwater heating and cooling system which utilises two wells excavated to different depths. In the summer, when there is a demand for cooling, groundwater is pumped from the shallower ‘cold’ water well and fed through a heat exchanger to provide cooling for the building. Due to this energy transfer the water returns warmed and is fed back into the deeper ‘warm’ water well. In the winter the system is reversed to provide heating to the building.

Sportcampus zuiderpark faulknerbrowns architects section a

Sportcampus Zuiderpark is much more than a centre of excellence for sport and movement. The integration of accessible spaces for education and recreational sport has created an environment which celebrates and promotes the value of sport for the health and wellbeing of all.

Capable of hosting a variety of international standard sporting events in the public heart of the city, the campus provides the inspiration to motivate people of all generations to participate in new activities in the footsteps of the athletes before them.

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Project data

Start on site March 2015
Completion June 2017
Gross internal floor area 29,000m²
Gross (internal + external) floor area 33,000m²
Form of contract or procurement route Traditional
Construction cost €50 million (£45 million)
Construction cost per m² £1,364
Architect FaulknerBrowns Architects
Executive architect ABT
Client Municipality of The Hague, Haagse Hogeschool and ROC Mondriaan
Structural engineer ABT
Building physics ZRi
M&E consultant Deerns
Project manager Alphaplan
Main contractor Ballast Nedam
CAD software used Autodesk Revit 

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