Mecanoo Fontys Sports College, Eindhoven

Source: Mecanoo: DezeenPhotography: Christian Richters
Date: October 25, 2013

athletics estate
The completion in 2012 of the Fontys School of Sport Studies at Eindhoven’s Genneper Parks was a first step in turning the parks into a ‘sports estate’. Mecanoo’s design creates an important link in the network of sport accommodations and facilities in Genneper Parks. 2200 students and teachers make daily use of sports facilities in their own building, including the National Swimming Centre, the Tongelreep and the Indoor Sports Centre. Fontys School of Sport Studies, with state of the art sports facilities and a comprehensive sustainability concept, houses three curricula which were previously spread over locations in Sittard and Tilburg.

Mecanoo created a social sports facility design that contributes to the vibrancy of Genneper Parks. The intelligence of this building is that most of the sports accommodations are located on the first floor. Instead of creating a closed off sports box, this results in a completely transparent ground floor which maintains its relationship with the environment. The compactness of the building’s layout provides the advantage of room left for a stage to the building – in the form of a plinth – inviting athletic and social encounters in the outdoors. The glass plinth gives way to a black brick façade beginning on the first floor and sculpturally building up and around the rest of the building.  The literal highpoint of the building is the climbing wall which is situated at the corner of the building and acts like a beacon. A large glass window offers a distant view of the climbers. Logistics are sophisticated and provide maximum opportunities for cross disciplinary interaction between sports and education. It is possible to see into the sports halls from the corridors, study areas, the restaurant and the entrance halls. At the same time, sport and education are logistically separated. The teaching functions can be sealed off so that only the sports halls are accessible, for example at sporting events or sports association gatherings. Also in the evening, the building is lively, contributing to the security of Genneper Parks.

sustainable energy system
The building is equipped with a sustainable energy system, making it largely possible to provide for its own energy. The educational features in this compact building are efficiently oriented to the north. To save on cooling, the south side features a building canopy. The energy roof makes use of solar energy. Further the excess of heat and cold of the buildings in the vicinity is being used and stored in two buffer tanks in the garage.

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