dgj040 Sportscape Calw, Calw, Germany , 2003


The site for the sports centre is an artificial railway plateau overlooking the valley and the city of Calw. The size of the existing buildings is much smaller than the sport centre, which suggested that it should be integrated into the landscape rather than form a building.

The brief was a complex logistical exercise: incorporating a civic sports hall and a privately owned club centre that required co-dependence but clear division for legal purposes. Moreover, construction needed to be phased, with the possibility that the sports centre would not be built, or partly subsumed within the sports hall. Additional facilities to be provided included a multi-storey car park, two pedestrian bridges, a running track, an in-line skating track, a volleyball court, and an all-purpose playing field, all on a site of restricted width.

It was felt at the outset that the imposition of a large-volume sports hall as an object in isolation would be insensitive to the human scale of Calw's environs: the first strategic move was to partially submerge the sports hall into the existing plateau, and form a timber deck above it by relocating the excavated soil to merge harmoniously with the natural landscape. Sport’s Landscape is a second landscape layer on top of the plateau. The large volume has been lowered into the ground so that a continuous platform is formed which covers the whole centre, and contains all the outdoor facilities. The new, timber-clad landscaping becomes a welcoming forum for the community, providing unobstructed views of the surrounding countryside. This undulating viewing platform also provides public circulation along a north-south axis: it extents into the city and the forest on the other side over the railway tracks by forming two additional elegant bridges connecting from the western side of the River Nagold to the forest to the east of the railway tracks.

project period Okt 01 2002 - Jan 01 2003
useSport. Leasure, Landscape
address Bahnhofstrasse , Calw
floor area 12,000 m²
building volume 36,000 m³
budget 1.8 Mio. EUR
client Community Calw
project partner: Paul WK Lee, Edward Liu
project status: Competition Entry