Sportcentre Mitte, Heidelberg


heidelberg city council proposes to build a modern triple sports hall with tiered seating for spectators and a new building to replace the ancillary facilities and changing rooms. on the grounds of helmholtz school the mitte sports centre is to be expanded by the addition of a new sports hall. the new changing rooms will then serve both the existing and the new halls. the aim of the competition is to achieve a contemporary and high quality facility on this site.


the response for this existing heterogeneous site comes in the form of a single, clear, architectural measure. the complex spatial demands of two sports halls are brought together in one unified sports centre. the architectural unity can be seen in the building, its structure and materials. the two corresponding sports halls rise up out of a flat, single storey, pedestal-like building, thus accentuating the complex as a whole. like the two halls, there are two courtyards (the entrance area and the art area) cut into this pedestal. despite the autonomy of the new sports hall it is very successfully integrated into the existing helmholtz school buildings because of its low structure, which adopts the build height of the existing art area. as the extension is primarily single-storey there is no loss of light to any of the school rooms and no obstruction of the views. the open air art area is almost entirely retained in its original size. access from the school building to the new sports centre continues to be via the connecting staircase. the playground to the west of the sports centre is retained.