Penzel Valier: Weissenstein sports halls - best architects 17 in Gold

Penzel Valier

Weissenstein sports halls

best architects 17 in Gold

public buildings


Bern / Switzerland


Dominique Marc Wehrli


The two sports halls are stacked atop one another at right angles. The competition arena is embedded in the topography underneath the horizontal roof surface. The large roof of the hall is set flush with the grounds, while the much smaller gym looks like an independent volume set atop it. This separation of the two halls significantly facilitates the integration of the not inconsiderable volume into the scale of its urban surroundings. The two longitudinal walls of the upper gym are formed of pre-stressed wall-like supports that serve as huge suspender beams for the »floating« roof of the competition hall underneath it. The beams rest on four massive main pillars. The main girders carrying the competition hall, with a static height of 2.10 metres, visually span an enormous width of 67 metres. The pre-stressed beams of the lower competition hall are hung on the panels above, perpendicularly to the main girders, as continuous beams. The support structure conceived for the separate halls creates expansive, column-free spaces that allow for an uninterrupted view of sporting events and competitions. The appearance and material qualities of the building are essentially determined by its structure. The interior surfaces are largely left untreated – a rawness that is practically imposed by the structural engineering concept of the building.