The World Village of Women Sports by BIG


Danish architects BIG have won a competition to design a centre for research, education and training about women's sports in Malmo, Sweden.

Called The World Village of Women Sports, the project is conceived as a series of buildings of varying size with sloping roofs, alternating with open spaces.

The main hall will be able to accommodate football matches, concerts, conferences, exhibitions and markets.

Here's some more information from BIG:


BIG wins competition for The World Village of Women Sports

BIG, in collaboration with AKT, Tyréns and Transsolar are awarded first place in a design competition in Malmo, Sweden for a 100.000m2 first of its kind sports facility.

dzn_The World Village of Women Sports by BIG 16

The World Village of Women Sports seeks to create a natural gathering place for the research, education and training in all areas connected to the development of women’s sports.

Located in the centre of Malmo, the 100.000 m2 facility will create a regional landmark and new attraction for the area.

The winning design was chosen among five submissions by a jury, comprised of the founder and main financier of the World Village of Women Sports, Kent Widding Persson, the co-founder and entrepreneur Maarten Hedlund, City of Malmo Architect,Ingemar Graahamn and Architects Mats Jacobson and Cecilia Hansson together with representatives from the City of Malmo.

“BIGs design places great emphasis on architecture tailored to women with an unconstrained atmosphere and a feeling of well-being. The architects see the WVOWS as a town within a town rather than just a sports complex. The decisive factor has been the holistic approach and the overall impression of the design – the ability to interact with the neighborhood and environment, and creating attractive housing and functions at the same time.” Mats Jacobson, Jury Member, WVOWS

Composed as a village rather than a sports complex the WVOWS combines individual buildings with a variety of uses with open spaces and public gardens.

The sloping roofscapes and alternating building volumes provide the complex with the varying identity of a small village thus reducing its scale to the adjacent neighborhood.

The interior streets animated through public functions resemble a medieval downtown, supporting all aspects of human life – generous living, work and intensive play.

"Considering the special requirements of women of all cultures and all ages, special attention has been given, to provide the sports village with a feeling of intimacy and well being often lacking in the more masculine industrial-style sports complexes that are more like factories for physical exercise, than temples for body and mind." Bjarke Ingels, Partner-In-Charge, BIG

The central hall is large enough to accommodate professional football matches as well as concerts, conferences, exhibitions and flea markets. Rather than being an introverted sports arena shut off from the surrounding city – it appears like an open and welcoming public space, visible from all of the surrounding streets – generously offering its interior life to the passers-by. The pedestrian network around the main sports hall plugs into the surrounding street networks as well as the interior galleries of Kronprinsen, turning it into a complete ecosystem of urban life.

“The WVOWS fuses high levels of ambition within public space and private accommodation, living and working, health and recreation, sport and culture. Like a village rather than sports complex it merges the modern utopianism of the neighboring Kronprinsen with the intimate scale and specificity of the nearby historical city center of Malmo." Bjarke Ingels, Partner-In-Charge, BIG

“From the main football field at its heart, to the gyms and auditoria, from the handball halls of the university to the laboratories of the health facility, it is an entire village committed to sport.” Nanna Gyldholm Moller, Project Leader, BIG


TYPE: Invited Competition
CLIENT: H-Hagen Fastighets AB
COLLABORATORS: AKT, Tyréns, Transsolar
SIZE: 100.000 M2
LOCATION: Malmo, Sweden
STATUS: 1st Prize

Partner-in-Charge: Bjarke Ingels
Project Leader: Nanna Gyldholm Moller
Team: Gabrielle Nadeau, Daniel Sundlin, Jonas Barre, Nicklas Antoni Rasch, Jin Kyung Park, Fan Zhang, Steve Huang, Flavien Menu, Ken Aoki

Posted on Wednesday October 28th 2009 at 1:24 pm by . Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • Modern and great.Congratulations to the Big team.

  • i don’t know i don’t like it

  • yoshi

    reminds me of the lego tower…
    but, i love BIG´s projectual process…

  • Bangaj

    nice presentation material…. but I dont know what to say about the project..

  • quasimo

    sweet project

  • jim

    project looks good from street level but ugly and messy from the above

  • mmm, nice, but not that aesthetically pleasing.

  • testek

    good luck with the cores, staircases, elevators, emergency exits

  • sigp

    Let’s make serious architecture, please.

  • ste

    deform simple forms and copy and rotate and bool… funny excercise for an archicad training but come on!? is this how to treat spatial qualities on an urban level? the drawings shows how simple and poor the concept is… disapointed

  • t

    Sweet! I live in Malmö and I´m really looking forward to see this beeing built. BIG rocks!

  • wii

    How can someone complain about the simplicity in a BIG project. It looks simple becuse they made it simple. Thats what BIG do :D

  • sberla

    can u imagine how ugly would it be to have a room in a corner?

  • Evan

    Watch out, don’t poke yourself!

  • bebo

    i think the way they treated the roofs and the outdoor areas was nice, but i do not like the project.

  • bubuspanish

    Come BIG ! I love your way.

  • Patrick

    Unity, arena, modernism, urbanity, openness, no macho gestures…

    Perfect fit for the task at hand… Nice project. The details will change anyway during the next phases.

  • david

    the great thing about BIG is that people complain about their design before its built, but when the buildings go up those are some of the most powerful and optimistic examples of architecture in the city.

    with this village… just wait and see

  • curb

    i’ve always loved BIG for how clear their concepts were. I could predict the diagrams even before seeing them. but their designs need to be pushed more. their end results always look like a strong beginning to a potentially great design.

  • zez


  • Matt

    I hope they pay their render person/people well at BIG. The style and feeling created in the imagery always helps to sell it. As for the design, it’s simple, it’s bold and it’s very hard to argue with diagrams from a kinder surprise.

  • Michael

    Simple and unified from the outside, imagine occupying a space from within… a sense of uniqueness and identity from the space you are given, its outlook and spatial relationship to the other spaces and external areas surrounding it. It’s great.

  • Shuvo tz

    I liked the way of delvelopment process….

  • boy

    Looks like a project from 60-ies. Built as big as you can and dont care what is around. The project presents funny playing with forms but thats all. The project looks good just in renderings but real life – live or do anything in this monster …. I dont think so.

  • Lu

    Sorry i didn’t like it.
    I appreciate your developing process though

  • yessss

    Big: cool!

    Ney sayers: You seldom have something better to show. Compare this to what usually is built! There is to much discussion on what to build in the westers world. We should just build and THEN deside if we want to continue on that track. Learning by doing.

  • Lee

    It's not feminine at all. rather the opposite. if the function is partially to act/represent/celebration/promote women's sports, to me a more feminine building would make sense. This seems very unromantic to say the least.

  • F-EW

    First, what are “the special requirements of women of all cultures and all ages“? Are the steps shorter or lower? Are there more women’s toilettes than men’s toilettes?

    Second, what is the “feeling of intimacy“ that they talk about? Are there built-in alcoves where lovers can pause to have a kiss and a cuddle?

    Third, so where is this ”World Village of Women Sports”? Kronprinsen is just round the corner from my flat.There’s NOTHING there. Perhaps the “special cultural requirements and feeling of intimacy” was insufficient? Maybe a follow-up would be a good idea to see what went wrong.