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Sportcampus Zuiderpark

The Hague

Architects: FaulknerBrowns Architects // Project size: 32.230 m² GFA // Completion: 2017 // Awards: Tekla Global BIM Award 2016 - Sports and Leisure Projects, International Architecture Award 2019 (IOC, IPC, IAKS) - Gold, Civic Trust Award 2019, German Design Award 2018 - Architecture, Construsoft BIM Award 2016

The Zuiderpark sports campus rises on the site of the former ADO Den Haag football stadium. The building includes a top sports hall, a double sports hall, a gym and lecture halls for the Haagse Hogeschool and the ROC Mondriaan. The sports campus takes a very broad approach from a location for top-level sports, to mass sports, to education and science, and thus serves the whole of society.

FaulknerBrowns Architects were commissioned by the municipality of The Hague to design an iconic and sustainable complex measuring 200 x 150 m². ABT supported the British architects from the design phase onwards with, among other things, BIM models that ensured cost-efficient implementation and was responsible for architectural design coordination and elaboration through to implementation support. ABT also undertook the design of the main supporting structure and the geotechnical design.

The building consists of three different sections connected by a single steel roof of a good 20.000 m². The roof rises from the main entrance to a maximum height of 25 m, harmoniously integrating the building into the park surroundings. For this roof, ABT developed a construction with trusses for the large spans, combined with IPE and HE beams. ABT integrated the technical installations, sports facilities and flexible partitions suspended from the roof.

The amount of steel used in the roof is kept as low as possible. To this end, ABT optimised the shape of the trusses. The roof has a moss-sedum surface and about 5.000 m² of solar cells and solar collectors. Together with a heat-cold storage system and numerous heat, water and energy-saving measures, the sports complex will be CO2-neutral. This is not a matter of course for a building of this size, but it is definitely forward-looking.


The facade of the building consists of black precast concrete elements with vertical relief. The band literally makes the facade shimmer: 11.000 diamond-shaped metal sheets made of red-etched stainless steel. To enable the curved facade with increasing height and variable external dimensions, ABT used a parametric model.

When designing the supporting structure, ABT worked very closely with the architect at an early stage, allowing him maximum freedom in the design of the image-defining band. In combination with cantilevers and angles of inclination, the result is a dynamic appearance. At the point of the bridge building on the terrace with the main entrance, the ribbon folds onto the roof, so to speak. Lead architect Russ Davenport was so excited by the design freedom gained through ABT that he ventured an epic comparison:

"When you look at the building, the elevating façade seems to move away from the viewer, making the building appear smaller than it actually is. It's like the Tardis." The "Tardis" from the well-known science fiction series "Doctor Who" is a small telephone box from the outside, but inside it is a huge time-travelling spaceship. A very nice metaphor for the fact that the Zuiderpark sports campus does not impose itself on the park area in an unpleasant way.

Scope of services: Structural engineering, facade engineering, computational design, geotechnical engineering

Photos: Hans Roggen, Valerie Kuypers

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