circular sports hall & social hub

Elzenhagen sports hall, Amsterdam

"The city is growing like crazy and sports facilities need to keep up," said Simone Kukenheim, former alderman for youth care, vocational education, and sports, in 2018. This is especially true for Elzenhagen Zuid, a residential neighborhood. Amsterdam aspires to be a healthy city, meaning residents should have easy access to sports. Now, this neighborhood boasts a sustainable sports facility with catering services, making it a meeting place for both athletes and residents.

Photography: Mike Bink (interieur), John Lewis Marshall (exterieur)

Municipality of Amsterdam



in use

Located in a densely populated urban area on a limited plot, the sports complex stands out immediately. The corner facade features the city's emblem: the three St. Andrew's crosses. The expressive use of brick is a modern take on the Amsterdam School architectural style. Varied brick shapes and textures, along with decorative elements, play a significant role. Masonry images of athletes, such as a handball player and an indoor soccer player, hint at the sports clubs housed within, giving passersby a taste of the vibrant activity inside.

"The plot was limited. In addition to a sports facility, a technasium was planned here. While design and construction are separate tasks, they must form a coherent whole. The building height was also a concern due to the nearby active mill. To address this, the building is partially buried to ensure the mill blades can catch sufficient wind."
Thomas Bögl, LIAG architects + engineers

First sports hall with an LED floor
Elzenhagen sports hall features a state-of-the-art glass LED floor in the main hall, a first for the Netherlands. With the push of a button, this floor transforms into nine badminton courts, three volleyball courts, or one large basketball court, eliminating the confusion of colored lines. This innovation provides a clearer playing field and creates a calmer, low-stimulus sports environment. Additionally, it helps prevent disputes during games, such as determining whether a ball is in or out.

"Neighbourhood Elzenhagen Zuid is developing rapidly with new housing and schools. It's crucial for all Amsterdam residents to have ample opportunities to exercise, which includes providing high-quality sports facilities. The sports hall, with its impressive floor, exemplifies this commitment."
Sofyan Mbarki, Municipality of Amsterdam

Sustainability and circularity at the core
Elzenhagen sports hall epitomizes sustainability. A key interior feature is the sports floor, previously "harvested" from the Apollo Hall, now adorning the walls and incorporated into some furniture. The indoor climate is healthy and pleasant, with attention to acoustics, ventilation, and balanced lighting. The hall is nearly energy-neutral, thanks to rooftop PV panels and a WKO system in the ground. An advanced building management system enhances energy savings. The complex also addresses climate adaptation by collecting and retaining rainwater through a retention roof and basement storage.

Optimal use of space and facilities
The sports complex is maximized for use. During the day, nearby high schools conduct gym classes in one of the three hall sections or the smaller hall equipped with a bouldering wall and punching bags. In the evenings and on weekends, the building becomes a bustling hub where athletes of all levels train and compete. It complies with NOC*NSF guidelines. Currently, handball club VOC (reigning national champion) and indoor soccer club VNS United (a premier league team) use the facilities, with room for more diverse sports offerings.

"The design considers the varied needs of schools and clubs. For gym classes, privacy and supervision in locker rooms and restroom use are key. For clubs, spectator flow requires an inviting entrance, clear sightlines, and signage."
Thomas Bögl, LIAG architects + engineers

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