- Design Team: Studio Deep Blue, Bilal Karaburun, Ashkan Hashemkhani, Daan van Westen, Mick Madder, Justyna Breczko, Paul van Dijk
- Clients: Municipality of Renkum
- Contract Supervision: Eggen Bouw Management+ CBB Arnhem
- Project Management: hemm - voor maatschappelijk vastgoed
- City: Renkum
- Country: The Netherlands
Text description provided by the architects. Social Heart of Renkum
In a beautiful green area, surrounded by low-rise housing, MFC Doelum is designed as the social heart for the community of Renkum. It is a place for everyone; a place to meet for sports and culture – a multifunctional center where you can find a good balance between the power of the collective and individual expression.
The starting point for this building was not to develop a new sports and cultural center focused on those functions, but rather to design a place for social interaction, focus on people. This is why the building has been designed so that the smallest size dictates. We have created spaces for all visitors, large and small, young and old. We have included places to view each other’s activities, encouraging curiosity and stimulating encounters and collaboration. The idea is that users will encounter others, so they don’t feel alone in a large building, particularly if they were used to their own small clubhouse in the past. There are large meeting places for celebrations when an important game has been won, as well as cozy places to read a book in silence or play a game of cards with a few friends.
The building has been meticulously blended into the surrounding countryside. As the building is divided into three volumes – each slightly shifted in relation to the other – the ensemble appears small despite its ambitious program of activities. This creates a building in harmony with the sloping landscape that surrounds it. The central volume is elevated; this is where the central reception area is located. The landscape continues through this area – in between both building levels – where it then connects the sporting grounds on the more elevated northside to the tennis courts on the lower-lying southside.
The central reception area seamlessly connects all the different facilities, users and visitors. Around this central area, where the bar area is located, all the centre’s facilities are organized and visible as soon as you arrive. Large windows and sitting areas provide a view of the sports centre and swimming pool, as well as looking across to activities in the cultural venue, fitness area, and out-of-school care. The central organizing element of the building is a wood finished volume, which connects all different layers and provides a strong reference point throughout the entire building.
Through careful use of materials, rhythm and patterns, the large building volumes are downsized to a human scale. The interior and the furniture have been integrated into the design process from the start. Using a harmonious mixture of natural, sustainable and low-maintenance materials, a consistent and tranquil appearance is created throughout the building. The use of different types of wood for the floors and walls creates a soft and warm look and feel. Perforations, panel partitioning and detailing provide a refined layering – with attention to good acoustics.