The sports hall of Leuven, Belgium, urgently needs an upgrade. The location is in the center of the city and has a strong connecting character. Besides that, the city lacks open green spaces for social purposes.
The site is characterized by the rythmic facades which are oppressive towards the square. By opening up to the other side, this atmosphere will become more open by allowing more air and space in between the two buildings. Letting the greenery continue on top of the project, gives opportunities to work with split levels which go below ground level.
This double character of a green social meeting place on the one hand, and a sports hall on the other hand, suggests a dual character of entering the project. The social character is emphasized by the big terrace on top of the sports hall, which is directly accessible from the public street, connected to the bar inside. To go to the sports hall itself another entrance is provided on the side of the plot, which invites the user to first pass the big window along the sports hall, providing a sneak peek of what they will find after entering. Although you can also reach the sports hall through the bar, this entrance will be used by the people who are here to practice sports. The barentrance will be used by the public or the passer-by.
The design process started by experimenting with intersecting volumes, aiming to get an expressive character in the city. Parallel, the program was implemented.
The construction was determined starting from the whole building to the smallest detail.
This design was kept by the university to use for expositions like the welcoming exposition of the next year and the yearly exposition in the university library.
Sports hall Leuven 2011
© Charlotte Dhollander