In Sargans, a Swiss town located in the Rhine Valley, near the border with Liechtenstein, a new sports center replaces a triple gymnasium that was no longer state of the art. The new construction consists of a quadruple gymnasium with various Fitness rooms. Because the marshy site cannot bear large loads and the existing pile foundations were to be reused, a lightweight wood structure was the ideal response to the design problem. The client, the canton of St. Gallen, wanted a sustainable building that employs local building materials and would only require a short construction phase; these stipulations only served to underscore the suitability of wood. Not only the building exterior, but also the interior, are characterized to a great extent by the use of this material. The serial and dense structure goes through all parts of the building and emphasizes the architectural and spatial qualities of the main rooms: entrance foyer, gymnasium, fitness rooms. It is made out of spruce wood and is composed of 40 thin and close to one another glued-laminated timber frames. The floor slabs in the two-story part are made with a wood-concrete composite system and a combined ash/spruce glued-laminated load bearing beams.
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