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Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.

Ronald McDonald Centre in Amsterdam, The Netherlands by Fact Architects

April 5th, 2011 by Sumit Singhal

The Ronald McDonald Centre is a sports centre for disabled children. At the Centre the children can feel themselves top athletes. The design of the Centre is in such a way that it gives opportunities.

Ronald McDonald Centre

  • Architects: Fact Architects
  • Project: Ronald McDonald Centre
  • Location: Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • Address: Sportpark de Weeren 5, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • Design Terrain: Fact Architects
  • Design Buildings: Fact Architects
  • Design Interior: Fact Architects
  • Design Team: Inge Brouwer, Juul van Gemert, Peer Glandorff, Jean-Marc Saurer, Ruud Visser

Exterior Shot, Entrance Main Building

  • Function: Sports Centre for disabled children
  • Client: Ronald McDonald Centre
  • Status: Built 2010
  • Size: Main building 7300m2. Dugout changing rooms 450m2. Porter lodge 135m2
  • Area: 5.2 hectares
  • Main Building: Sports hall, 2 swinging pools, clubhouse, gym, dojo, computer room, music room, kitchen, restaurant, offices, staff room, theater
  • Other Buildings: 2 Dugout dressing rooms, porter’s lodge
  • Outdoor Activities: 2 Sport fields, athletics, bicycle track, mini golf, playground, Cruyff Court, 3x outdoor, fitness, cable car, climbing tower

Exterior Photo Dugout Dressing Room and Main Building

  • Structural Engineer: Pieters Bouwtechniek, Delft
  • Installations: Grontmij TM
  • Climate, acoustics and safety: Peutz
  • Contractor: Wessels Zeist
  • Photography: Luuk Kramer

Interior Photo, Corridor Swimming Pool

It all started with Dennis Gebbink, father of a disabled son; his dream was to create a sports centre for his sports club for disabled children, Only Friends. In close cooperation with Ronald McDonald Child-fund the Centre has been realized.

Exterior Photo, Corner Swimming Pool

The Ronald McDonald Centre is a unique project. It is the first sports centre specially built for disabled children or with a chronic disease. Unfortunately, almost all of them can’t sport at a regular sports club. At the Centre, everybody is more then welcome.

Interior Photo, Corridor Sports Hall

At the same time, underprivileged youngsters can get a practical education at the Centre to give them a connection with the regular society. At the Centre all the children can focus themselves on what they already can, what they like to develop and to strengthen their physical and mental condition.

Interior Photo, Clubhouse

The Centre is located in a typical Dutch countryside on the edge of Amsterdam. The municipality of Amsterdam donated the beautiful, and well connected, location and a new parking lot. The design of the Centre matches perfectly with the natural and green surrounding.
An important design goal was to communicate a sense of security to children and adolescents, and at the same time the feeling of being a top athlete. Along with unrestricted access, areas for socializing and also for privacy are therefore of great importance. Anyone can be both an athlete and spectator.
The centre of the complex is the main building, wedged between two oval arenas, which are sunk in the elevated terrain and are surrounded by trees and grandstand stairs. The buildings, trees and grandstands stairs along the arenas provide a sense of an ever-present audience. Every child is at the Centre a hero.

Interior Photo, Swimming Pool

The first floor offers views of all outdoor and indoor activities. In this part of the building several recreational functions are situated. Here you can meet, eat and drink, watch movies and play computer games and at the same time watch other children play sports. Two big voids with circulation walks, and big glass sliding doors make the first floor act as a grandstand. A clubhouse and grandstand in one.

Interior Photo, First Floor Swimming Pool

The buildings and the playgrounds are designed in way that it gives the kids lots of opportunities, and inspire and motivate them. Almost every special fixture for the disabled kids is made invisible. There is no distinction between non-or disabled kids. For orientation, colors are being used. For example, the floors per part of the building are of different colors. The indoor hall, the fitness room and the dojo are green, the swimming pool is blue and the grandstands with the restaurants and offices are red.
The entire project is made possible by sponsoring and donations from all parties involved. From advisors and contractors to material suppliers. Due to the enthusiasm of the sponsors a high level of innovations and special applications of materials and technologies have been achieved.
A great example of new technology is the floor of the indoor sports hall. It is the very first floor in the world with so called LED-lines. The lines can switch on to the sport which is needed on that moment. The other lines are then invisible.
There are special ceilings, of ‘ball proof’ metal mesh, and glass sliding doors developed. Locker are operated by finger scan. And, the pools have movable floors.
Safety is very important in this sports centre. The corridors are situated at the glass facade for close contact and a good overview. The swimming pool has a drowning detection system. With infrared cameras there is a 24-hour watch at the pool. When a child is not moving anymore in the water, the alarm will go off. Within the building, when a calamity occurs, everybody flights “horizontal” so the safety of everybody is guaranteed.

Interior Photo, Sports Hall, with LED Lines

If children want to go from one floor to the other, they can use besides the traditional staircases and elevators, a very big elevator. In this one, a complete team of wheelchair athletes can easily go up and down.
The Centre is durable in many ways. The main building is constructed in a way it creates a liberal floor plan, giving the opportunity the change areas more easily in the future. During the construction, all waste has been re-used. Spare warmth of the swimming pool is being re-used. The cantilever construction of the first floor gives a natural shade in the sports hall and pool hall.

3D Visualization, Axonometry of the Interior

The Centre consists of several buildings; a main building, two dug-out dressing rooms and a porters lodge. In the main building there are a swimming pool, indoor sports hall, restaurant with theatre stage, computer and gaming space, dojo and fitness place, offices and dressing rooms. Outside there are two sports fields, an athletic course, fitness- and playgrounds, a hard court and a bicycle track.
The design of the Ronald McDonald Centre has won the BNA prize 2005. The project has also been nominated for several awards; the Gouden Piramide 2010, Amsterdamse Architectuur Prijs 2010 and the Nederlandse Bouwprijs 2011.

Contact Fact Architects

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Category: Sports Complex

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