NL architects: gym hall TNW in utrecht complete
NL architects: gym hall TNW in utrecht   complete NL architects: gym hall TNW in utrecht   complete
nov 23, 2012

NL architects: gym hall TNW in utrecht complete

‘gym hall TNW’ by NL architects, utrecht, the netherlandsimage © luuk kramerall images courtesy of NL architects



the center of utrecht, the netherlands has just received a new sports complex, and amsterdam-based NL architects designed the ‘gym hall TNW’,a facility dedicated to gymnastics. the project brief as a venue for serious training and competitions excluded the possibility of glass windowsfor concerns of safety, glare and distraction, as well as potentially unwelcome views from onlookers. these issues typically lead to windowlessand gloomy warehouse-like buildings, therefore requiring a unique solution to bring natural daylight inside. a plain white exterior surfaced with horizontal cladding reads as a simple rectangular elevation, until attention is focused upon the corners. the facade begins to bow outward towards the roofline, widening the upper half of the building beyond its footprint. wrapping the entire perimeter of the structure, the bend within the exterior wall creates linear voids that are capped with a continuous skylight. direct sunlight is diffused along the inside face of the wall, entering the interior volume as a soft illumination.


the entry vestibule is easily identified, with a block that appears to be pulled out from the solid facade. upon passing through the main entrance, visitors are deposited into a double-height corridor with controllable privacy due to its placement along the front elevation and a block dressing rooms. two stairways at either end of the hallway lead into the upper level bleacher seating for parents to see their children practice or spectators to watch during scheduled events.


see designboom’s coverage of NL architects’ ‘gym hall TNW’ during its concept phase here.



view of entrance from parking lotimage © luuk kramer



main entryimage © luuk kramer



(left) entry vestibule projects from the plain elevation(right) exterior wall bends outward towards roof lineimages © luuk kramer



elevation appears flat until attention is focused upon the cornersimage © luuk kramer



corner detailsimages © luuk kramer



view from playing fieldimage © luuk kramer



interior double-height corridorimages © luuk kramer



daylight entering from a linear skylight diffuses along this inside face of the exterior wallimage © luuk kramer



(left) stairway into upper level bleachers(right) corner detail above sponge pitimages © luuk kramer



diffused natural daylight creates a soft illumination image © luuk kramer



daytime light conditionimage © patrick bals



image © luuk kramer



view towards upper level bleachersimage © luuk kramer



bathroomimage © luuk kramer



view from bleachersimage © luuk kramer



image © luuk kramer



image © luuk kramer



at duskimage © luuk kramer



aerial view of facility at duskimage © luuk kramer



common wall section



bend out wall section



floor plan / level 0



floor plan / level 1



ground level layout



perimeter columns






exterior walls



outward bend within exterior walls



drop ceiling



roof and perimeter skylights



main entrance



project info:


project name: gymnastic hall, utrechtproject dates: 2009 – 2011competition: 1st prizecient: dienst maatschappelijke ontwikkeling gemeente utrecht (dmo) NL architects: pieter bannenberg, walter van dijk, kamiel klaasseteam: arne van wees, gerbrand van oostveenwith: bobby de graaf, sarah möller, michael schoner, gen yamamoto, rebecca eng, joanna janota, jeong jun song, ines quinteiro, gert-jan machiels, thomas braunstructural engineer: abt delftinstallations: nelissenfixtures: janssen-fritsencontractor: pbo bouwsub contractors: cladding partners (roof and facade cladding), van dam (installations), smulders duscon (steel structure)

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