Encircled by a deciduous forest, the Sports Hall by OV-Architekti provides a space of gathering and leisure for the small community of Borky, northeast of Kolín in the Czech Republic. The 2,300 square meters space harnesses a welcoming atmosphere and can be accessed by the public through a cycle path along the Elbe River.

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Building with a wood-covered volume popping out and forest in the background

The sports center consists of a single-story building with a large wooden box extending upwards that demarcates the double-height sports hall. This volume stretches above the lower half of the building and brings in natural light through large rectangular openings that run on the long edges of the space. The roof slab of the shorter, concrete mass extends over the building on all sides, allowing for shaded circulation along the perimeter.

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Evening view of wood box resting on concrete building base

The recreation facility’s elegant aesthetic is attributed to its minimalist material used. Concrete and wood are the two primary materials to create a modern, welcoming atmosphere. On the exterior, the concrete creates a grounded mass, juxtaposing the airy, wood-clad sports hall rising above.

View of the court facing the entry lobby. Seating on the sides and a wood-clad ceiling with suspended lighting

On the interior, much of the concrete structure remains exposed, including the precast columns and concrete panel infill. In other parts of the facility, the walls are clad with horizontal wood slats, reminiscent of the vertical strips that wrap the double-height space on the exterior.

Wood-clad reception lobby with scattered seating poufs and a glass entry door

Beyond the materiality, modern design is showcased through the flexibility of the spaces. The facility’s entrance lobby flows into a dining area, which can be left open for gatherings or closed off if needed. The sports court can also be split into up to three segments for different activities to take place simultaneously, while still allowing for the seating tribune to provide spectators with a view of the action.

Court separated into three spaces with sports netting under a wood-clad ceiling with suspended lights

The building uses passive energy to create a comfortable interior environment, working with the site climate and optimized by insulation. The structure is thermally insulated using an External Thermal Insulation Composite System (ETICS). On the interior, acoustic sealing is concealed under the wooden cladding. A small, photovoltaic power plant is installed on the lower roof to power the heat pumps, which heat and cool the spaces alongside ventilation provided through large openings.

+ OV-Architekti

Photography by BoysPlayNice