Visualization © Becker Architects Planners BDA
Drawing © Becker Architects Planners BDA
Drawing © Becker Architects Planners BDA
Visualization © Becker Architects Planners BDA
Drawing © Becker Architects Planners BDA

Sports Hall Kempten

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Kempten, Germany
Michael Becker, Roland Schafroth
Architecture cooperation
Hermann Kaufmann + Partner ZT GmbH
Landscape architecture
Keller, Damm, Kollegen GmbH
Technical planning
IB Hirdina
8.830 m2
35.754 m3

The city of Kempten intends to build a new 3-fold sports hall. This is due to an existing shortage of space, on the one hand at the Hildegardis Gymnasium, and on the other at club level. In addition to satisfying the space requirements, an additional added value is to be created by activating the sports hall for up to 800 spectators. The sports hall is thus not only seen as a pure sports facility, but also as a public place, as an identity bearer for the city population.

The position in the urban space | Due to its self-conception as a public building, the sports hall, lying on a pedestal, positions itself self-confidently in the street space of Lindauer Straße. This creates both a presence in the urban space and strengthens the legibility of the structure behind it, the school, from the street space. Externally, a reciprocal address formation between the school and the urban structure is achieved, and internally, a visual relationship to the urban space, a "window to the city". In order to generate this clear added value, the position in the green space between Lindauerstrasse and Reichlinstrasse, as called for in the competition, has been abandoned. Instead, the large building masses, which are defined as floating structures in a superordinate parking space concept, are deliberately placed in relation to one another. A sequence of three topographically staggered courtyard spaces is created, which flow into the existing eastern green space. This will be made accessible and activated as a near-natural park space, both for the population and for the school, also as a public space. A clear added value is created for the surrounding residents, but also for the entire city.

The school building, the new gymnasium and the girls' boarding school form the structural framework of the emerging courtyard sequence "entrance courtyard", "central courtyard", "balcony to the park". Each of the spaces offers a different quality of space, as well as a different weighting of the play by the users. The entrance courtyard serves above all to provide access to and link the school entrances. The central courtyard is a break yard for the school, an open area for the cafeteria, a hub for the development of the area, but also a multifunctional usable area for different performances, such as school theater performances or festivals. On the one hand, the balcony to the park represents a green-space-oriented resting and viewing situation; on the other hand, it serves as an infrastructure area attached to the rear of the park's performance scenarios. The planting in the urban area follows an artificial pattern. A radial arrangement offers a variability of functions and at the same time a legibility in space due to the clear distances. Thus, given functions can be better adapted to the urban space without deviating from the strict grid of radii. In addition, this arrangement creates a differentiated spectrum of a dense grove of tall trees in the center and isolated solitary trees, which are increasingly dispersed transparently towards the outside and provide more clarity.

As a reminiscence of historic, urban buildings with stone walls and a wooden roof truss, the building structure appears as a stone column structure that develops upwards from the stone base of the courtyard situation. Asymmetrically inserted in this, a dissolved, wooden column and supporting structure forms the frame of the "glass showcase", the sports hall. On the east and west sides, the reference sides to the urban exterior, the stone column structure clearly separates from the glass showcase, creating an arcade structure. In the load case of public use, the structure articulates itself as a transparent building that deliberately seeks references to the urban space on the east side, the street space of Lindauer Straße, Birkensteig on the south side, and the interior space on the north side, and visually connects both areas. When the school is in use, the character of the building can be changed from transparent to closed and introverted by lowering the privacy screen, which also serves as a sunshade. In analogy to the position of the glass showcase in the stone support system, the playing field itself also has an asymmetrical position in the building structure. This creates a three-sided view situation from the spectator level, while at the same time strengthening the direct relationship to the central court. Functional necessities on the spectator level, such as the kitchen, the bar and barrier-free WCs, are bundled and appear in the form of a stone block as the "backbone" of the sports hall, which at the same time formulates the spatial separation to the shooting of the athletes' level. The changing rooms in the basement are accessed via a central corridor in an east-west direction.

In the proposed concept, the umbrella terms sustainability and economic efficiency are understood as mutually dependent disciplines, in addition to the aforementioned soft factors, the identification potentials. The proposed location on Lindauer Strasse and the omission of a separate parking garage allow for a maximally compact spatial system. A second building structure is thus obsolete. Thus, on the one hand, an optimized ratio of room volume to enveloping surface against outside air is achieved, and on the other hand, the sealed surface is drastically reduced. The choice of materials is based on sustainability and cost-effectiveness over the entire life cycle. The avoidance of costly maintenance measures is thus already taken into account in the design of the building. Robust materials are used in places where the greatest stresses are to be expected (exterior columns: reinforced concrete). Less heavily stressed areas, for example the supporting structure, are in turn made from sustainable and renewable raw materials. In addition, the formulation of the building structure also contributes to increased energy efficiency and a reduction in climate-relevant emissions. On the one hand, the glazing that spans the supporting structure and extends to the ceiling allows the roof surface to be kept free of skylights and thus maximizes the area for a photovoltaic system; on the other hand, high solar gains can be expected in winter, which means that heating requirements can be reduced considerably. The additional energy required will be provided by connecting the building to the district heating network.

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