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.
BUTE Sport Center in Budapest, Hungary by Hetedik Műterem Ltd.
April 2nd, 2013 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: Hetedik Műterem Ltd.
With the partial remake of the „ÉL” Budapest University of Technology and Economics’ laboratory building, a new, functionally complex Sports Center was created.
The „ÉL” building was built in the immediate vicinity of the „Z” tower building by the Danube riverbank (also designed by Elemér Nagy) in the mid 70’s. This remake was realized on an approx. 2800 m2’s (ground+2 floors) of area, built up of three crane bays with spans of 15 meters, and the surrounding reinforced concrete frame structure. The sporting facilities were created on the 2/3 of the office and laboratory tracts of the extant building’s first and second floor. This impoundment was entirely renovated according to the new function, whilst the remaining area continues to operate with its laboratory and educational functions.
The redesigned building is realized according to a „house in house” principle: with separate entrance and state of the art technical solutions a new building was created. Our essential concept was to exploit the extant building-structure so that it would befit the altered functions of the building – we created new layers, hiding the required new technical installations (e.g. mechanical equipment on the roof. As regarding the building’s external appearance we did not wish to continue the 40 year old architecture, but to complement it.
The essential element of the building’s appearance lies in the composition of BUTE Sports Center main entrance. The main entrance of the „ÉL” building’s first floor originally overlooked the alley between the „Z and „ÉL” building. With the realisation of the Sports Center a “re-composition” of the entrance was required to ensure a dignified approach to the new public building. With a slight transformation of the entering stairs (turning it inside out) and the composition of a new canopy and its cladding – beyond the claim for function – a sign was born, which could create the new function’s architectural emphasis.
It was an important viewpoint not to compromise the building’s character; hence the canopy and the entering stairs were created as sort of a “prosthesis”, deliberately showing the remake’s fact and nature. The consequence of the additive construction was that the canopy and the wall-cladding’s material (fiber cement board cladding mounted on a steel frame) and lining continue in the foyer, or vice-versa: it starts from the foyer.
The forming of the walls leading into the foyer are similarly created with a kind of “side-by-side” or “building-into” gesture, and amplify the current symmetry dissolution, and the fundamental asymmetry of the approach. You can completely see through the whole Sports Center along the glazed surfaces from the foyer, as the everyday life appears as an essential design element.
In the interior we used “cleaning” and “opening” as tools to visualize the original structure of the space in the building that gained a new function. In two of the three crane bays, two 13,5×15 m multi-functional sport halls, and in these ends, sharing the airspace, four squash courts were established. A mobile separating system ensures the alternative to open up the two courts during competitions.
The courts were lined with a wooden grid to protect the glazed surfaces and ensure the optical uniformity. The grid separates, but at the same time allows transparent visuals. When reaching the squash courts it parts from the wall and binds the spaces together like a transparent “basket”.
A climbing hall was created in the place of the crane hoist. A judo room, a futsal and aerobic room and a spinning hall was established on the second floor. Beside these a gym was initiated all with direct visual connection with the sport halls. The building received a “Pro Architectura Újbuda Díj” prize in 2012.
Contact Hetedik Műterem Ltd.
Category: Sports Centre