windows in order to engage with the ‘Sports hall of the Future’, which has a variety of built-in testing equipment such as pressure plates.

It was originally envisaged that there would be a hotel, with accommodation provided for private companies, including brands such as Nike and Asics. This was intended to facilitate the involvement of the companies in research, as well as provide a potential sales point. During the design stages however, this requirement was changed. Once the housing association dropped out of the project, a redesign process based on a reduced area was required. Despite this, a sports wheelchair maker currently have a workshop in the building, and use the laboratories for testing.

Material benefits

The building is positioned with the higher facade oriented towards the urban edge, and the lower facades towards the park’s interior. The building’s facade is finished with polished stainless steel, which shifts in colour constantly depending on the angle the sun hits it. The metal exterior appears seamless, and Davenport says it provides the project with “its iconic image, facilitat- ing a comfortable fit within the park environment, and producing the illusion that it is a much smaller building than it actually is.”

Davenport continues: “When sampling the materials, we were immediately seduced by the changing nature of its appearance and its correlation with the ‘movement’ theme. An added attraction was steel’s durability, and that it is maintenance free.” “He explains that the client’s brief was “in two parts; a physical schedule of accommodation, and a less tangible requirement which stated a desire that the building should evoke a sense of movement and activity.” The challenge, he recalls, was that the sports facilities were fixed, ‘box shaped’ volumes. “How would we manage these to produce a building which would ‘flow’ and blend into the park environment; a building where visitors move around externally and internally?” Davenport tells ADF that as the building

has “a predominantly windowless facade,” this allowed the creation of a seamless envelope. He adds: “This provided an opportunity for the ribbon to twist and taper.”

The whole structure is a steel frame, with piled foundations and a steel, metal deck roof, with a sedum green roof overlaid.

ADF OCTOBER 2018 © Arjen Schmitz



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