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Sports Hall St. Martin, Austria

Wissounig Dietger Architekten

The old circular sports hall in St. Martiner Street has been replaced by a new facility which is to be used by the adjoining secondary school, as well as a number of sports clubs.  The new hall is suitable for hosting international ball game tournaments.

The axis of the elongated structure is aligned to the street, establishing a high public presence and protecting the outdoor sports ground located behind it. It also ensures that the existing parking spaces on the northwest side remain available. The main entrance is located at the front of the building along with a small forecourt. A row of trees and additional parking spaces serve as buffer zone to the busy St. Martiner Street. The three-storey building is set four metres below street level in order to create a direct underground access to the school and to keep the overall height of the building to 11.8m, to fit in with the surrounding buildings. 

The buildings appearance is characterised by a copper façade made of folded perforated metal plates covering the hall like a semi-transparent veil. The copper sheets are staggered by one folded element at each storey which gives horizontal structure to the front. The façade is interrupted by glass panels on the upper floor at the northeast side and on the ground floor at the southeast side. The former ensures an even and glare-free incidence of daylight, in addition to the numerous skylights, while the latter provides a view into the sports hall from the schoolyard. 

A maintenance walkway, also covered with copper sheet, protectively overhangs the main entrance and the glass front. The foyer, which has a direct line of sight to the sports hall, houses a buffet, sanitary facilities, the caretaker’s room and access to the stands which can accommodate 220 people. Stairs and a lift provide direct access between the changing rooms on the basement floor and the sports hall. The gymnastics room is located above the foyer, offering a view of the sports hall and the outdoors. 

In contrast to the copper façade on a black background, the inside is dominated by light colours: the floor and walls of the gym are oak-paneled, while all other surfaces, even the floors, are cream white. This creates a friendly atmosphere in which the sports equipment and lighting system remain in the background. The entire ventilation technology is integrated into the walls – the supply air is let in without any draught or noise via the northeast wall of the sports hall through perforations in the high-impact wall. The spent air is exhausted through ducts in the southwest wall. 

In terms of construction, the basement floor and three sides of the building consist of reinforced concrete, the southeast wall is built as wooden frame construction and the roof is made of prefabricated insulated wooden elements. 

The entire complex has a gross volume of more than 24,000m3. It provides barrier-free access and is equipped with an orientation system for visually impaired users. Geothermal preheating of supply air, a heat recovery ventilation system and a corresponding insulation ensure high energy efficiency resulting in an annual heating demand of 16.9kWh/m2.

Commended Project, European Copper in Architecture Awards 2015.  See winning entries in videosAwards Winner's brochure and Copper in Architecture Forum 2015/39 magazine.



Completion date: 
Zip code: 
St. Martiner Straße 11


Type of building: 
Sport, relaxation facilities
Copper used: 


Name, office: 
Dietger Wissounig Architekten
Address & description: 
Franziskanerplatz 13, A-8010 Graz



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