In the south of Stockholm, close to the metro station Telefonplan, a new sports hall has been built. It will replace the existing one between the Västberga School and the soccer and athletics field. The existing hall was not suitable to play official games in the juvenile leagues as the size was too small and there were only two changing rooms. That made it complicated to be used by different school classes at the same time. The only entrance where through the changing rooms, making it inconvenient for visitors or spectators and it was not accessible for disabled persons.
Telefonplan, a former industrial neighborhood is now in constant development. Here started the Eriksson factory, that is why the area is called “Phone square”. The factory has now been converted into the Stockholm Art College. Many new housing projects are being built and lots of families are moving in. The popular existing soccer field and the athletics complex needed to be completed with facilities as the population grows. The sport hall not only fulfills the need of extra changing rooms and toilets, but also give identity to the sport complex in a quite chaotic urban situation.
The hall is built in the same place as the old hall was located. Due to the small dimensions of the plot, the program is divided into two levels which are connected by elevator and stairs. The ground floor area necessities were a bit too big, and the hall got too close to the running track. That is why one of the corners of the building has been rounded inwards, offsetting the track, to create a security area for too fast runners.
In the ground floor, the visitors are welcomed by a hall with a coffee shop. From here you can find the elevator, offices for employees, changing rooms or the technical areas. There are eight changing rooms, four of them have external connection with the soccer field and can be used from the outside when the hall is closed. A special changing room, fully accessible, has been added to take on consideration the needs of people that do not define themselves in the traditional gender division or just do not feel comfortable to use common changing rooms. A central space in the middle of the building works as a gathering area. It´s the central square, with the main stairs used as a scene for award ceremonies or instructions before lessons. This square is visually connected to the field through a big window. Entrances for goods, waste management and technical areas face Klensmedsvägen.
Upstairs is the main sport hall located, with a dimension to play different boll sports. There are storage rooms for sport equipment and a little stand for public, that also works as a ventilation pressure box and provides with air into the hall. The hall can be divided into two parts by a motorized curtain wall, allowing two school classes to have their PE lessons at the same time. The hall has natural lightning through two long stripe openings in its long sides, one towards the south and the other towards north. As the area required for the hall and its storage rooms was bigger than the ground floor, this provided a natural way to give shelter to the entries to the external changing rooms and the main entrance.
The interior concept is based on nature inspired materials and colorful surfaces. As the hall will be used mainly by young people, it is important to use materials that can take a high grade of vandalism without being damaged and lower the need for maintenance. The interior walls of brick are kept unpainted and so is the few structural concrete walls. The ceilings are made of grey expanded metal in the common areas and wooden wool panels in changing rooms. The toilets and shower rooms have tiles in two tones of the same color, to help people with visual disabilities. The public ones are either blue or green, to help children to orientate. The ones used by personal and teachers are brown. The floor is made by ceramic tiles that combines white and grey tiles, with turquoise ones to give a more cheerful character to the hall. Mosa tiles delivered both wall and floor tiles. Some furniture is also painted in the same turquoise color as the floor, for example the shoe cabinets. The benches and the window ledges are made of pine plywood and so is the acoustic panel and stands in the sport hall. As nature is a recurrent topic in this hall, it seemed logic to choose a green sport floor that was delivered by Unisport. On the sidewalls of the central square, there are two murals made of sound absorbent colorful tiles from BAUX, helping to improve the sound quality and adding a cheerful touch to the room.
Not only the volumes of the two floors are different in shape and program, but also the facades show different characters. The ground floor has a brown-reddish brick facade, matching the facades in the school and the dwellings, making an evident connection to the area. The upper volume is covered with timber ribs of Kebony in two different depths, to create an organic and natural feeling. After a while, the brown color of the timber will become grey, adding a clearer contrast between the volumes. Two big horizontal openings are made of polycarbonate panels from Scanlight, which filter the light towards the inside of the sport hall and lightens up the building outside in the dark winter months. The stripe in the south facade, towards Klensmedsvägen has been treated with an IR film to reduce the heath gain inside the hall.
The main structure is made of glued laminate timber. Big pillars of glulam rise from the fundaments of concrete. The roof is supported by big glulam beams that are kept visible in the sport hall area. To avoid unwished vibration transmission from the physical activity in the hall, the slab in the second floor is not connected to the glulam structure. To hold this slab, a secondary structure of metal pillars is placed in the ground floor, independent from the main timber one. Some concrete walls are added in strategic positions to add stability to the building, like the curved corner that is vital to support the big cantilever area on the upstairs volume. The volumes are covered by Paroc mineral wool sandwich panels, which is fast to mount. They provide the thermal isolation, fire protection and waterproof protection needed, and give a base from which the facade finish material can be hung.
The hall has also an artwork integrated on the western façade. The artist duo Cecilia Aaro and Matilda Fahlsten, starting from the building's architecture, have created a pattern that conveys the feeling of energy and movement. With 384 pieces of bended, gold-colored sheet, Aaro and Fahlsten have created a monumental moiré pattern. Moiré occurs when two nets overlap and form a third pattern, such as it happens in some silk fabrics. The hall's facade is covered with timber ribs, where the moiré effect can naturally occur. The artistic motif interacts with the dimensions and rhythm of the ribs. It reflects the dynamic changes in nature. The flowing forms are also reminiscent of tree veins and water movement. The pattern can also be interpreted as a symbolic image of the energy that fills the entire sports facility. The artwork has no lighting, but it captures and reflects the changing light of the surroundings. Both the daylight and the lights of the spotlights around the sports field make the gold glow and the facade alive.
There are solar panels in the roof that provides with the electricity needs of the building. The hall has been certified as an environmental building, grade silver, by the Swedish Green Building organization.
Even though the hall is used by the Västberga School during their day lessons, the location at the sport facility, near the subway, provides good conditions for the hall to be used by many sports clubs in the evenings and weekends.