Schools for movement and indoor spaces with parkour and street football. In 2020, sport and movement take place in new settings. It is important that the facilities are designed for physical activity and noise - but still with a sense of aesthetics. Read more in a new online feature from Troldtekt A/S.
Parkour, street football, and street basketball. Street sports are not a new phenomenon. But what is new is that activities on asphalt can now take place in street sports centres. In Denmark, the nonprofit organisation GAME is behind six street meccas, as they are called. One of the centres was built in Aalborg, with JAJA Architects at the drawing board.
“The idea behind GAME Streetmekka is to bring together informal urban activities in a raw industrial environment, and to make street sports and street culture available to everyone throughout the year,” says Kathrin Gimmel, architect and partner at JAJA Architects.
The interview with Kathrin Gimmel is part of a new feature on www.troldtekt.com. The feature spotlights new forms of activity and – especially – the architecture environments where they take place.
Informal environments motivate
Street sports centres, skater parks, outdoor fitness and multisport areas are gaining traction in many places in northern Europe. The informal activity environments are key to getting more Swedes moving and thus increasing public health. The common denominator is that the environments are open to all. Some places are open around the clock, all year round.
One place the trend is spreading is Sweden.
“The general physical activity level of Swedes is decreasing. Some people don’t get any activity at all. Fewer people are attracted to sports clubs, and those who are end up leaving much sooner. Therefore, municipalities and planners have an increased awareness of integrating movement into the everyday environment. Once, physical activity meant football, but we have become aware of activity in a much broader context,” says Karin Book.
She is an associate professor of sports science at Malmö University, with a doctorate in cultural geography with particular interest in urban planning and development for sport and physical activity. The new feature includes an in-depth interview with her.
Architecture gets children moving
The feature also includes an article about the Danish project Skole+. The project has identified how the renewal of existing school architecture promotes children’s movement. One of the six schools in the project is Søndervangskolen in Aarhus. Here, long rows of desks have been replaced by presentation stairs and the school’s long corridors have been transformed into a movement path with a wealth of activities.
“When we organised the activities on the movement path, we relied on three motivation factors for movement: Competition, curiosity and sociality. Mentioned in reverse order, there are hammocks where you can swing together or lie there and chat with your friends. Curiosity is stimulated by stations where the children themselves have to figure out how the props can be used. The competition element arises naturally when you let children loose on a versatile play and obstacle course,” says Martin Roald Schrøder Poulsen of NERD Architects, who has shaped the school’s new environment.
Requirements for good acoustics and natural strength
In Aalborg Streetmekka, Søndervangskolen and a number of other buildings dedicated to movement, Troldtekt acoustic solutions are integrated as a part of the design. And that is no coincidence, as the acoustic properties of the materials are very important when the space must accommodate everyone from keen football players to jubilant children. At the same time, Troldtekt is a durable material that also contains a wide range of design options for the state-of-the-art facilities.
About the choice of Troldtekt in natural grey for Aalborg Streetmekka, Kathrin Gimmel says:
“The acoustic panels harmonise extremely well with the other materials. They have been installed between the original concrete beams for an extremely cool look and to ensure effective sound absorption, which is essential in a street sports centre.”
The feature also offers an online tour of a gymnastics and multi-purpose hall in Runavik in the Faroe Islands and the three Danish projects Holbæk Sportsby, Aarhus International Sailing Centre and Idrættens Hus.
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