Photo © Damian Poffet
Photo © Damian Poffet
Photo © Damian Poffet
Photo © Damian Poffet
Photo © Damian Poffet
Photo © Damian Poffet
Photo © Damian Poffet
Photo © Roger Frei
Photo © Roger Frei
Ground floor

Heuried Sports Centre

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Wasserschöpfi, Zürich, Suíça
City of Zurich
Type of commission
Competition, 1st prize
Space program
Ice sport hall, Open-air swimmingpool, Gastronomy, Changing rooms
9,187 m2

For us the integrative strength of a strong roof structure represented an elementary typological pattern that we adopted in devising a new concept for Heuried Sports Centre. The existing sports and leisure amenity by Fritz Schwarz and Hans Litz, which dates from 1964 and includes an outdoor swimming pool and two external ice rinks, required a complete renovation due the condition of the building and the need to modernise the operation of the facility, while a new ice sports hall was also to be added. This required a volume that introduces a completely new scale into the district. But rather than breaking this down we wanted to positively propose it as a new urban design dimension for this place. In this regard the topographically modulated roof becomes a central protagonist that programmatically brings together the various internal and external functions. Through the massive projection of 16 metres the horizontal dimension of the roof is further emphasised and the contrast to the nearby residential buildings is deliberately overstretched, allowing the sports centre to become part of the scale of the public facilities complex. The different functions and scales of the place meet in the spatially charged overlapping area, where they are condensed to create an interface space that can be read in a variety of ways and in which inside and outside, expansiveness and constriction, summer and winter are superimposed in a completely unforced manner. The entrance area in front of the building forms the start of a topographically presented landscape of circulation spaces and areas in which to spend time. This landscape links the various parts of the building and the site with each other on a number of different levels. Ramps, staircases and walkways, always interacting closely with the gardens, enable visitors to experience the complex in a variety of ways and express the aim to develop the City of Zurich’s rich tradition of modern swimming pool complexes further. The open-air swimming pool facility is gently redesigned, the areas for sunbathing are maximised and a landscape offering various water-related play facilities for children is added. The sports complex employs a composite construction method. From the solidly built plinth level a grid of solid concrete columns develops, with a concrete mezzanine level that defines a complex system of spaces inside and outside the building and zones the program of spaces in a simple way. The wide-spanning roof and the external facade are, on the other hand, timber built. Due to the continuous band of glazing on the upper floor the roof, which is modulated according to the flow of forces in the beams, appear to hover dramatically, while on the ground floor the facade, which for the most part is closed, is encased in a cladding of white and grey-painted timber slats, which has a delicacy of scale that lends the large volume a certain degree of lightness.

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