Sports

Sportcampus Zuiderpark

Creating a sense of movement was at the heart of the design concept for the building, which is wrapped in a twisting metallic ribbon


Read on turning pages | Download PDF | sign up to CLAD

Architecture firm FaulknerBrowns have completed a dynamic €50m (US$61m, £44.4m) sports campus in the Hague’s historic Zuiderpark.

Open to amateur and elite athletes and community users, the 34,000sq m (366,000sq ft) facility includes a gymnastics hall, beach sports venue, 3,500 capacity arena and a multi-purpose sports hall, as well as a variety of sports science and education spaces, including a public library. Outside, there are a series of multi-use pitches, while an animated entrance courtyard acts as an extension to the park, which is listed as a national monument.

The building, called Sportcampus Zuiderpark, occupies a site that was once home to the stadium of Dutch football club Den Haag FC. That ground was demolished in 2007 when the team moved to the larger Kyocera Stadium, designed by Zwarts & Jansma Architects.

Backing for the new campus has come from the city municipality, the Hague University of Applied Sciences and the ROC Mondriaan vocational school – with the trio stating the need for the city to have a modern, well-equipped home to train and develop sporting talent.

FaulknerBrowns – who have designed large-scale facilities across the UK and Europe – overcame five other bids to win the project in an international design competition held in 2012.

“Back when we won the project, the Netherlands and the other Benelux countries were considering a bid for the 2028 Olympics and their plans were focused on health, wellbeing and youth,” says FaulknerBrowns partner Russ Davenport.

“The clients wanted to reflect that by building something much broader than just a facility for sport. They wanted to emphasise the importance of sport and exercise through learning and engagement. Our design had to support that kind of aspirational ethos.”

To achieve this, the team were tasked with capturing a sense of movement.

“Movement was a fundamental concept for the project, but it was a very difficult thing to create internally, because a lot of the volumes are square boxes,” says Davenport. “Externally, though, we felt that a curving form would fulfil that ambition. Conceptually, we came up with this idea of having a cluster of boxes that are tied together by a ribbon that twists and changes in height. At the rear, the high-sided elevation responds to the urban element of the site, while the lower front elevation responds at a human scale to the public parkland.

“We angled the façades in the vertical plane as well as the horizontal. It allows air in and out and provides sun shading to parts of the building, so it’s functional and not just decorative. It also has the effect of diminishing the size of the building in the park. Whenever you’re looking at it, the elevation is running away from you, so it never looks quite as big as it really is. It’s like the Tardis.”

According to Davenport, the brightly polished stainless steel façade was selected to create a sense of materiality and dynamism.

“We were wowed by the material. As you walk around the building, the light constantly shifts, reflecting the sky and the trees. It changes as lighting conditions and cloud patterns alter throughout the day.

“I’ve heard a few nicknames for it already – the UFO and the Pebble – but we’ve been amazed by the positive response. Usually buildings of this type get a split reaction and we’ve not had any bad press whatsoever. No one has come out and said they don’t think it’s the right building, and for me that speaks volumes.

It was really important for us to get the right feel and image for this site,” concludes Davenport. “That was our biggest challenge.”

SUSTAINABILITY AT ZUIDERPARK

Russ Davenport on mixing sport and sustainability

“The municipality of The Hague has the ambition to be climate neutral by 2040. This informed the client’s desire for a sustainable campus.

“The building is designed to be as compact as possible whilst providing the necessary space for the range of sport and education facilities. This, combined with a well-insulated shell, minimises energy loss. The 20,000sq m (215,200sq ft) roof is covered with over 15,000 (161,400sq ft) 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 ground water 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 for the building.”

The building was designed to minimise energy loss
The building was designed to minimise energy loss
The sports campus includes a range of education spaces and a library / Photo: Hufton + Crow
The sports campus includes a range of education spaces and a library Photo: Hufton + Crow
Gallery
Click on an image to open the image gallery
company profile
Company profile: Matrix Fitness
Unrelenting drive to be the best at what we do underpins activity throughout our vertically integrated business life cycle.
Try cladmag for free!
Sign up with CLAD to receive our regular ezine, instant news alerts, free digital subscriptions to CLADweek, CLADmag and CLADbook and to request a free sample of the next issue of CLADmag.
sign up
features
A central island acts as a food preparation area for multiple people
"I’ve used my own life as a living lab to study the hurdles from a busy career mom’s perspective"

Veronica Schreibeis Smith couldn’t find a kitchen which worked for her plant-based diet, so she invented the wellness kitchen

Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
To advertise in our catalogue gallery: call +44(0)1462 431385
features
all aspects of the lives of the family, including religion, culture and art, have been carefully considered
"Vastu can be dated back to at least the 6th century and is deeply rooted in the physical and spiritual fabric of Hindu society"

Chris Godfrey of global architecture practice Hirsch Bedner, on bringing a spiritual dimension to residential architecture in India

All illustrations were hand drawn by Ben
Ben Channon
"I hope architects gain a genuine understanding of how buildings and spaces affect our mental wellbeing and how their design can be tailored towards making people happier and healthier"

Ben Channon has written Happy by Design, a new book about how architecture affects our mental health. He explains how we can all be happier at home

McLennan developed the Living Building Challenge certification in 2006
"If you look closely at the walls, they almost look like layers of the Grand Canyon. When you use rammed earth, you get wavy lines where the material has been compacted"

Well building guru Jason McLennan opens his home and shares his thoughts about environmental design with Well Home

features
"We’re not built for constant comfort. When we live in spaces that connect us to our surroundings, we feel better, stronger and happier – and that is the very definition of being well"

Early-onset MS inspired Adria Lake to explore resilience as both a healing modality and an approach to design in the creation of her new home and company headquarters in Colorado

The bedrooms have been designed as sanctuaries, with lots of natural light
"Even brushing your teeth in the right space can elevate a daily routine into a ritual"

With a lap pool at the heart of the home, this property is a sanctuary for Rene Gonzalez

Yoga at the stables: exercise and outdoor living are at the heart of the Serenbe philosophy
"Residents share stories with me of how Serenbe has changed their lives for the better and they are healthier and happier - Steve Nygren"

The original wellness community at Serenbe is expanding, with a new hamlet dedicated to health. Jane Kitchen paid a visit

cladkit product news
EAS PREVIEW: Bright Buildings to exhibit BrightOpen designs
Bright Buildings will be showcasing its range of BrightOpen buildings
At this year’s Euro Attractions Show (EAS), design and architecture firm Bright Buildings will be exhibiting its range of BrightOpen ...
Dornbracht launches 'next generation' experience shower
Rainmoon is an innovative sensory shower experience designed for use in the home
Dornbracht is taking experience showers to the next level with its multi-sensory Rainmoon concept. “Rainmoon is a culmination of bliss ...
Zaha Hadid Design partners with Royal Thai to create carpet collection celebrating Zaha Hadid's legacy
The carpets capture Hadid's notable use of layering and interweaving as well as her use of light and shadow
Lauren Heath-Jones
Zaha Hadid Design has partnered with carpet manufacturer Royal Thai to create a new carpet collection inspired by the work ...
cladkit product news
Bright Buildings to create UK's first 'open sky' swimming pool
Bright Buildings will create the retractable roof for the Open Sky pool at Ivybridge Leisure Centre
Lauren Heath-Jones
Leisure operator Fusion Lifestyle has announced that it will invest millions of pounds over the course of the next three ...
Artemide excites with latest lighting collection
Designer Alejandro Aravena created O to 'reconcile the needs of the natural and the urban environment'
Lauren Heath-Jones
Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), Herzog and de Meuron, Neri & Hu, MAD Architects and Elemental, the firm of Pritzker winner ...
Bartok Design installs 'transformative' soaking tubs in SpaFusion at Pallazzo Varignana
Bartok Design creates traditional Japanese soaking tubs
Lauren Heath-Jones
Bartok Design, a Japan-based supplier of Ofuro (Japanese bathtubs), has completed a major installation at the newly opened SpaFusion at ...
cladkit product news
Designworks launches new glow-in-the-dark tile collection
The tiles contain light-absorbing luminous pigments so they glow-in-the-dark
Lauren Heath-Jones
High-end tile supplier Designworks has created a range of illuminous mosaic tiles for commercial use. Designed to bring light into ...
Carlo Ratti's 'wonder wall' robot could become reality with kickstarter campaign
Unveiled at Milan Design Week, as part of Ratti's Living Nature installation, the Scribit is the result of Ratti's ongoing investigation into and development of writing machines
Lauren Heath-Jones
Carlo Ratti Associatti has developed an intelligent robot capable of writing and drawing on vertical surfaces. Called Scribit, the device ...
Aotta launches sound panels made from hemp husks
The panels are designed to maintain 'healthy spaces' and consist of Hemp husks fashioned into a natural porous membrane that absorbs sound
Lauren Heath-Jones
Russian design studio Aotta has developed a range of eco-friendly, sound-absorbing panels made from the waste products of hemp seeds. ...