Iconic sports hall revamped

After extensive renovation and extension work, the Academy of Physical Education in Ollerup on southern Funen has been restored to its former glory, while its sports hall has also been modernised with improved facilities for competitions and more spectators.

Ceilings with Troldtekt acoustic panels in sports hall
Photo: Helene Høyer Mikkelsen, architect & PRAKSIS Arkitekter

The Academy of Physical Education in Ollerup near Svendborg, Denmark, has been engaged in a far-reaching and complex renovation project, the aim being to improve the facilities and restore the original features in such a way that their neoclassical style and symmetry are once again the underlying architectural elements.

The high school was founded in 1920, and is the oldest academy of physical education in Denmark. A covered swimming pool was added in 1926, and the sports hall was built in 1932, which completed the symmetrical layout. The unique design of the hall was the brainchild of Christian Ostenfeld, an engineer who was inspired by an American hangar with its arched ceiling construction and column-free space. It was particularly important to preserve the ceiling, in spite of new acoustics, fire and ventilation requirements.

Praksis Arkitekter has undertaken the challenging task of redefining the character of the building, while at the same time making it possible for it to be used for concerts and conferences as well as sporting contests in addition to daily teaching activities. The seating is flexible, and the acoustics, lighting and ventilation have also been modernised.

Warm surfaces in the hall and foyer

In order to meet today’s building requirements, large depots and a range of facilities have been added in a number of low buildings along both sides of the hall, which also offer access on foot to an outdoor area from the upper rows of seats. More symmetry can be found in the new two-storey foyer which has been built against the gable overlooking the green area. The foyer is a sensitive continuation of the classical elements, while adding a distinctly contemporary touch.

Troldtekt Plus acoustic panels are a recurring material, with panels in the colour natural wood in the foyer combined with ceiling spot lighting, while in the hall white-painted Troldtekt acoustic panels have been installed in the gable and under the balconies – in perfect harmony with the classical style. In the hall, the architects chose to install oak flooring for a warm feel, while wooden strips have been used on the foyer’s enclosed spaces.

“There is a tradition at the academy that former students – ‘Bisserne’ – voluntarily help with maintenance, and the group in question also participated in this major renovation and extension project, especially with the carpentry work.”