Architects: Estudio Lamela Polska Location: Cracow, Poland Project team: Carlos Lamela, Pierluca Roccheggiani, Przemek Kaczkowski, Alessandro Mattei, Gabriel Fortes Cala, Martyna Tejwan Project area: 8,914 sqm Competition year: 2011 Renders and drawings: Courtesy of Estudio Lamela Polska
Background Estudio Lamela won the competition to design a new sports centre in Cracow, Poland. This sports centre, commissioned by the city of Cracow, will be used by the sports club Wisła Cracow on adjoining land to the old sports centre built around the 1950’s, and the recently renovated football stadium. Sports that will be practiced in the centre are mainly indoor football, basketball, volleyball, handball and badminton. The capacity of the hall proposed by the organizers of the contest was about 4000 spectators.
Context Since the project began, considered options were the demolition or keeping the old sports complex, currently in operation. The basic premise was to locate the building in such a way that allowed the dual configuration of the space around it, leaving in place the existing building and in turn offering the possibility of demolition and subsequent release of space, so the project provided for a maximum adjustment to the existing building.
Concept of design The building was designed with the aim to create two balancing structures, the top one being a simple translucent box, while the lower part is an opaque entrance area and continues the line of the old hall’s roof. This second lower part is conceptually another box that is folded in different angles creating interesting dynamism. In the same time these transformations of the lower volume also respond to the needs of entrance and evacuation of building users. Main entrance area is a large square which runs along the facade of the new and the old hall, also folded in the same way as the lower part of the building. Entrances for the players and VIP guests are provided on the opposite side of the building, in the area adjacent to the stadium.
Program and function The building has a very clear functional structure. Entrance hall, an extension of the square, accommodates the basic functions: ticket offices, changing rooms, shop and toilets. There, visitors are led into different sectors. The zone of the changing rooms for players, referees and coaches is designed in the eastern tribune. Above there is a zone of VIP guests comprising a set of 10 skyboxes. Located at the western tribune are the cabins for sportscasters, television studios and an administrative area of the building. A multifunctional conference room is planned as a glass box hanging in the central part of the building facing the interior of the hall. The whole building is accessible to persons with disabilities – a number of special locations in various sectors have been designed for them.
The auditorium building is composed of two lower tribunes arranged along the long sides of the hall, and two upper tribunes that provide the number of seats required by the client. Additional 400 seats are located on two folding tribunes along the shorter sides of the hall. Depending on the specific type of the pitch, it is possible to arrange for additional space and seating, stage, ring, etc.
Material The upper volume elevations are designed as walls of glass panels LINIT (U-glass), specially dedicated to sport facilities because of their optimum grade of translucence. The structure of this section of the building consists entirely of steel elements. The lower volume, the opaque deformed box, is designed of FIBRE C.
Structure The sport centre has been proposed as a two-segment structure. The upper volume is supported by a system of steel truss that support also the overhang of the southern facade. These elements are basically HEB and HD profiles. Stability of the volume is assured by a system of prefabricated concrete walls located in the corners of the space that are set directly on the foundation. The roof structure is supported on steel trusses, peripheral nodes lower on the pillars of steel and reinforced corners on the walls. The lower volume is based on a regular grid design of concrete and steel elements.
Tribune structures are designed of prefabricated reinforced concrete. Rigidness of the stands is provided by shafts and staircases, while ventilation shafts peak reinforced concrete walls. The technical areas of the building installation hall were located partly on the underground floor and in the technical facility areas.