Violenstraat, Groningen, is a fine-grained city street which is now the site of an eye-catching Sports Block. The unusual multi-storey concept with its well-designed façade and indirect lightening stands out, distancing itself from the standard look of most sports halls.

Project details

Project Sports Block, Groningen, Netherlands
Architect
Marlies Rohmer Architects & Urbanists
Client
Dienst OCSW, Gemeente Groningen
Products used
Terca Flamenco Mix

Sports Block Groningen, Netherlands © Daria Scagliola

Sports Block Groningen, Netherlands © Daria Scagliola

Sports Block Groningen, Netherlands © Daria Scagliola

Sports Block Groningen, Netherlands © Daria Scagliola

Sports Block Groningen, Netherlands © Daria Scagliola

Sports Block Groningen, Netherlands © Daria Scagliola

Sports Block Groningen, Netherlands © Daria Scagliola

Sports Block Groningen, Netherlands © Daria Scagliola

Clever use of space

The architects designed two gym halls, located above each other, integrated into one unit. This has the advantage that the Sports Block has a relatively modest impact on the street scene and it was possible to construct the building detached from the nearby houses.

Letting the light in

Direct daylight is usually regarded as a disadvantage in a sports hall, because of its potential for dazzling the users and the openings can attract unwanted observers. On the other hand, operating without daylight is unhealthy because it contradicts the natural biorhythm. A unique and functional façade was the solution to offer enough privacy and provide enough daylight at the same time. The wavelike form allowed the integration of indirect light lines to both gym halls. These lines are located on top of each wave and prevent insight. Additionally they give the building a special appearance when in use in the evening. It glows gently in the dark, when the light shines through the openings. But that’s not all, the façade terminates at ground level in a long bench, creating an area where schoolchildren can gather before entering the Sports Block.

Undulating façade

The unusual design made it clear from the start that the new Sports Block will stand out from the existing street architecture. But at the same time it was desirable to not depart too far from the general surroundings. This was achieved with the use of the building material as a connecting element: red brick. Inside a spacious, double height and transparent staircase with a large atrium connects the different spaces and offers a lively image of the coming and going athletes.

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