Competition for the Sports Centre in Witikon, Switzerland

In winter 2022, the competition entry for the new Sports Centre in Witikon was developed by VOSS Architects in collaboration with Anna Jach, Zurich, and ZPF Structure, Waldhauser Hermann, Planbar, Rapp Infra and Blau und Gelb Landschaftsarchitekten.

The Witikon district is located at the south-eastern perimeter of Zurich. The neighbourhood is still characterised by large wooded areas and many open spaces. Furthermore, there are still many well-preserved agricultural farm buildings and old barns. The design for the new sports centre ties in with this building typology - a functional building in the middle of the green fields.

The new sports centre is a clearly struc- tured compact building consisting of a light two-storey wooden structure standing on its solid concrete base and a wide spanning cantilevered roof with sheds on top. The focal point of the interior is the triple court sports hall at the heart of the building, marked by the sheds on the roof. To the north, the gymnasium is accompanied by a two-storey spectator gallery. South of the sports hall is the "green foyer", a light-flooded space with two cascading staircases as an access and meeting zone. The generous glazing connects the interior and exterior spaces and brings the seasons into the building. On the first floor, the spectator area is planned with a grandstand between the sports hall and the foyer.

The entrances to the building are located on the ground floor: the main entrance to the west and the entrance to the recreation areas to the east. Both entrances are connected to each other via a corridor that is attached to the "green foyer". The main spaces of the ground floor are taken up by the cloakrooms, which are grouped into clusters. To the east of the building, the restaurant with access to the outdoors is located on the ground floor, the after-school care centre on the first floor and the gymnastics and weight room on the second floor. Additional cloakrooms, the running corri- dor with adjacent weight room and the technical area are located in the base- ment.

The building is designed as a timber construction with variable timber cladding of the façades on a ground-floor exposed concrete base. Its shape is inspired by local agricultural buildings. The materials wood and concrete are used according to their properties and significantly shape the appearance of the sports centre. The differently sized surfaces with rear-ventilated wood cladding made of open, untreated and saw-rough spruce planks and slats divide the façade horizontally and vertically according to the functions inside, give the new building proportion and emphasise horizontality. The large roof with the visible rafters supports the proportionality of the building and gives relation to the human scale.

The new building is to meet Minergie-P-Eco requirements. The building envelope and the building services concept are designed to meet these requirements. Both, the ceiling structures and the exterior walls on the upper floors, make extensive use of renewable materials, which were selected to be both durable and to come from material cycles that are as closed as possible. A combination of primary and secondary structures is consistently avoided. We propose the use of ecologically compatible and economi- cally viable building materials, as well as the installation of PV panels on the roof for self-generated electricity.


© VOSS Architects 2022