EMÜ Sports Hall by Salto Architects

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Sports Hall by Salto Architects

Estonian firm Salto Architecs have completed a sports hall in Tartu, Estonia, where the concave rectangular structure appears to be draped over the undulating landscape.

Sports Hall by Salto Architects

Above photograph is by Reio Avaste

Called EMÜ Sports Hall, the pinched building is clad on three sides in larch, with little wooden protrusions making the surface nobbly, and clad on the final side with glass.

Sports Hall by Salto Architects

The architects created the ramped landscape on this previously flat field in order to make the building appear less imposing.

Sports Hall by Salto Architects

A burnt orange and white colour scheme features throughout the interior.

Sports Hall by Salto Architects

Above photograph is by Karli Luik

The sports hall serves the Estonian University of Life Sciences.

Sports Hall by Salto Architects

Photographs are by Kaido Haagen unless otherwise stated.

Sports Hall by Salto Architects

More buildings for sports on Dezeen »

Sports Hall by Salto Architects

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Sports Hall by Salto Architects

The following information is from the architects:


The chosen plot for the sports hall was an empty, flat field right at the roadside at the entrance to Tartu, so in addition to functionality and ability to integrate and organize the surrounding campus area, the architectural competition, in a way, expected a greater degree of representation than the building type would normally imply.

Sports Hall by Salto Architects

At the same time, the spatial programme of a sports hall largely prescribes the possibilities of designing the main volume. We decided to stretch all corners of the cubic volume, and to integrate the building organically with landscape.

Sports Hall by Salto Architects

Elevated ground forms a „cushion“ for the slightly entrenched building, thus optically minimising its volume, and continues in undulating forms, encompassing outdoor sports grounds and bicycle paths, towards a sloping valley further away.

Sports Hall by Salto Architects

The streched-out corners of the building create concave lines both in plan and elevation, gently relating to landscape and softening the size of the building.

Sports Hall by Salto Architects

At the same time the building retains sharpness, enabling constantly varying, expressive views from various angles.

Sports Hall by Salto Architects

This is due to optical effects of the form, clear-cut lines and finishing materials – glass on the longer sides of the building and larch cladding with wooden snags (nicknamed „hair“) on the shorter ones.

Sports Hall by Salto Architects

The latter also add to the subtle play of overall optical effects, being shorter and denser in the middle, and longer and more widely placed at the edges. The snags coloured red form the name of the building – EMÜ spordihoone.

Sports Hall by Salto Architects

Above photograph is by Karli Luik

In the interior, the same attitude continues – a limited repertoire of considered details and takes. Moving around, the overall feel is light and airy, easy to navigate.

Sports Hall by Salto Architects

The streched-out plan creates unconventional interior spaces. The choice of colours and materials is strictly limited to smooth exposed concrete and painted carroty surfaces with details in matte and shiny black.

Sports Hall by Salto Architects

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Irregularly placed bubbly interior windows opening towards the ballgames hall add a touch of frisky lightness and are echoed in the round glazed openings in gallery floor.

Sports Hall by Salto Architects

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In a delicate way, one is reminded that a sports hall is a bodily space – e.g. the concave outline of the building creates galleries narrowing in the middle, and with glazed openings in the floor the resulting space sharpens one’s bodily experience of space.

Sports Hall by Salto Architects

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Name: EMÜ Sports Hall
Location: Tartu, Estonia
Client: Estonian University of Life Sciences

Sports Hall by Salto Architects

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Architect: Salto AB
Authors: Maarja Kask, Karli Luik, Ralf Lõoke
Interior architects: Katrin Kaevats, Jaan Port

Sports Hall by Salto Architects

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Open competition: 2007, 1st prize
Completed: 2009
Size: 4500 m2


See also:

.

Training centre by
Chartier-Corbasson
Sports centre by
Batlle i Roig Arquitectes
Gallery Orsta by
Claesson Koivisto Rune
| 6 comments

Posted on Monday, January 24th, 2011 at 12:54 am by Catherine Warmann. See our copyright policy. Before commenting, please read our comments policy.

  • felix

    Artficial grass covered landscape – check
    Timber slat cladding – check
    Big circular windows – check
    'Iconic' shaped building in middle of blank site – check

    But despite all that it looks really nice. Quality and lighting of interior spaces is great. I really like that shot of the hallway with the unisex toilet off it.

    • kiir

      it's not artificial grass

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001857394783 Thomas Washington

    This is a great project. I love the texture of the facade and the elegantly curving walls. Really nice.

  • dave

    Its a shame the simplcity and composure of the outside doesn't translate to the interior. It seems a bit lost.

  • nicole

    Yes – the impact of the outside is so much greater than the inside (which trys with bold colours)

  • msjun

    focusing on interior spaces, unconventional plan vs. rational plan- what is correct answer or more reasonable one? that is question only
    but the shape and texture in outdoor really nice