Excerpt: Nový Hrozenkov Primary School Sports Hall is a community sports hall designed by Consequence Forma Architects. The architects wanted to bring contemporary architecture to fit into the town while introducing something fresh and original. In addition, plans include revitalizing the surrounding public areas and schoolyard and outdoor school playing fields.
[Text as submitted by the Architects] The sports hall is located in the small town of Nový Hrozenkov, nested in the valley of the Bečva River, which flows through the Vallachian landscape in the eastern corner of Czechia. The architects wanted to bring contemporary architecture to fit into the town while introducing something fresh and original. There are more stages of the project; besides the sports hall, revitalization concerned the primary school building reconstruction, new entrances, technical equipment, changing rooms, sports hall facilities and a reconstruction of a famous fitness gym located on the ground floor. In addition, plans include revitalizing the surrounding public areas and schoolyard and outdoor school playing fields.
The sports hall serves two purposes – as a gymnasium of a local primary school and for hire to the public. The central concept of the building was to highlight the potential of the rural landscape and link it through a generous glass wall to the indoor play area. Another critical aspect is an effective connection of the sports hall to the adjacent buildings and the garden. The interior is primarily cladded with wood paneling making up the atmosphere and acoustic comfort. The building character is influenced mainly by the indoor climbing wall rising above the ceiling of the playing field and forming a dominant roof light, which mirrors on the other side too.
Context, inspiration and critical concepts for the development of the project
By placing the gymnasium between the railway embankment and the primary school building, a ring surrounding the inner yard and the garden sprung up, making the area accessible from all school buildings via their newly formed entrances. The principal concept of the gymnasium itself is to connect the surrounding landscape with the interior by a glass façade blurring the lines between the indoor and outdoor.
This double-direction view, from the outside indoors and the other way round, makes way for new interactions, which was the key theme in our concept. The design of the primary school’s main building’s reconstruction follows the original concept of the building by architect Bohumír Kupka.
Construction techniques and the principal materials used in the project
The design reacts to contradictory requirements for a high climbing wall and an economical solution for roof construction. The most effective way was to use nailed roof trusses, which, combined with side roof lights, allow maximum height use for the climbing wall construction. The biggest challenge lay in a solution to the floor-to-ceiling panoramic façade with subtle metal columns.
The other part of the sports hall consists of concrete columns supported by concrete footings. Everything can be viewed from the grandstand, which is accessible from the corridor connecting the sports hall with the school’s ground floor. The sports equipment is dominated by retractable basketball hoops and a resilient sports floor. This connecting corridor also houses the changing rooms and the sports hall’s service facilities. We drew the project in BIM software; it received funding and was completed in 2021.
Energy-efficient elements, sustainability
The sustainable character of the project lies mainly in the use of a controlled heat recovery system through an air handling unit. Placed within the roof structure between the trusses, the unit ensures a sufficient supply of fresh air. By directing the venting to the slots between the trusses and the ceiling luminaires, the integrity of the interior remains intact. The entire building is heated by floor convectors hidden along the glazed wall. It is not only an aesthetic solution, but it also prevents the glass from misting. Additional plate heaters are placed in the grandstand and the connecting corridor.
The indoor acoustics also contribute to a healthy indoor environment. It was essential to use LED luminaires, as their long lifetime and economical character contribute to the sustainability of the building over time. Different light modes, a large glazed area and the roof lights come together to allow more subtle work with the lighting in the daytime or only partial lighting of various activities. Facing the west, the outdoor wooden slats and blinds help to prevent the building from overheating. Finally, the rainwater from the roofs is channelled into storage objects on the school site with an overall size of 165 m2.