‘Human Rights’ multi-purpose sports centre in Strasbourg

In completion of a school for foreign officials’ families, the city created a multi-purpose sports center, also open to non-sporting events.

Strasbourg is the seat of the European Parliament and of the European Court of Human Rights. The city’s authorities quite naturally decided to propose an educational offer designed to meet the expectations of the European and international civil servants working in the city by creating a European school. The programme called for the creation of a multi-purpose sports centre capable of serving as a venue for events not involving sport.

Beyond the actual architectural and functional qualities of the building, the sports centre creates a balance and establishes a dialogue with the European school. The volumes of the two halls are dissociated and angled, which makes it possible to set the larger hall in an ideal position.

The elements of the programme form a crown, with changing rooms and other premises surrounding the two halls and providing views both to the outside and among themselves.
The project makes careful use of rough, durable materials: architectonic concrete, galvanised steel, glass and linoleum.
The multi-sports hall plays on the grey shades of these materials.
The building lies on a north/south line, which is the best way to control natural light, while large expanses of polycarbonate provide and disperse gentle, even light throughout the hall, with no risk of dazzling or inconveniencing users.

The square multi-purpose sport centre is designed to contrast with the rest of the building. The varnished oak parquet floor laid in a checkerboard pattern curves upwards at the wall, and the coffered ceiling repeats the checkerboard design of the floor. The entire double height of the hall is coloured dark green, enhancing the warmth of the oak.
Depending on the light, the variations in grey featured in the project range from milky and rough to transparent and reflecting: perception evolves as the day draws on, setting up a valuable dialogue with nature.