GXM Architekten: Sporthalle Esplanade, Biel - best architects 11

GXM Architekten

Sporthalle Esplanade, Biel

best architects 11

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Biel | Schweiz




Yves André | St-Aubin-Sauges


The Esplanade – a parking lot in the centre of the city – will soon be transformed into a public square at the heart of an urban development program. The striking entrance of the sport hall responds to this new environment. Together with two listed utilitarian buildings from the 1960s, it forms a low, coherent group around the spiralling fire station tower. The distinctive building section is a result of the physical limitations of the site: the first floor is suspended from the roof structure and projects eight metres over the neighbouring parking space of the fire station. The large circulation spaces relate to the scale of the hall: the broad external staircase leads to the foyer, conceived for 800 spectators, which extends over the entire length of the building. The players enter the building through a separate, ground level entrance, which leads to an eight-metre high corridor on a lower level, along which the changing rooms are located. The choice of materials – a concrete base covered by a metal cap – reflects the separation of the public and the players’ levels, both inside and outside.