Good acoustics part of an iconic design

A new multifunctional sports centre has opened in the basement of the famous Warsaw University Library.

Troldtekt acoustic panels as wall cladding in cultural buildings
Photo: Piotr Skorek Photolicous

The Warsaw University Library, famed for its unique façade comprising concrete and glass as well as one of Europe’s largest roof gardens is a stunning example of symbiosis between architecture and sustainability.

In fact, the library is so popular with its range of shops, cafés and restaurants, coupled with its breathtaking views of the city, that it’s listed on Trip Advisor as one of the top ten best things to see in Warsaw.

The latest addition to the library, which originally opened in 1999, is the conversion of the basement into a multi-purpose sports venue completed by architects Architekci studio – which also designed the original building.

This is the first project to be completed under the University of Warsaw’s 2016–2025 programme and involved the construction of new buildings and the extension and reconstruction of existing facilities. The University is expected to carry out a total of 18 projects over the next ten years.

The sports centre comprises 6,000 sqm of training space, with two fitness rooms, a gym, a crossfit room, an ergometer, three multi-purpose rooms, locker rooms, sanitary rooms, changing rooms, common areas and a multimedia sports and entertainment room.

It will be available to students and employees of the University and will be a venue for competitions, tournaments, sports shows and events as well as other activities, such as ballroom dancing, fencing, table tennis and yoga. A total of 4,000 people will be able to use it every week.

With the large amounts of hard surfaces and concrete throughout the basement levels, the architects specified Troldtekt’s wood wool acoustic panels across many of the areas. These help to absorb the sound and reverberated sounds created by noisy sports activities and large groups of people. In addition, their inherent robustness, strength and impact resistance also mean they’re a perfect high-performance solution. However, the panels do far more than simply solve the issues of sound because they have become part of the building’s iconic design.

With different colours used, from green to grey to black and cut into interesting shapes they add definition and character to the otherwise expansive areas of concrete. Troldtekt panels have also been cut into large hanging baffles used vertically and horizontally to create visually attractive three-dimensional ceiling features.