Sportcampus Zuiderpark

At the heart of the historic Zuiderpark, the sports campus is an innovative collaboration of alliances between education, sport and the community. The aim is to emphasize the importance of sport and exercise through learning and engagement, for the amateur as well as the elite athlete, using sport as the inspiration to deliver a healthier society.

The 33,000m² sports campus houses specialist facilities for gymnastics and beach sports as well as a spectator arena, multi-purpose sports halls, dojo, and a variety of sports science and education spaces. Capable of hosting a variety of international standard sporting events in the public heart of the city, the sport campus provides the inspiration to motivate people to participate in new activities in the footsteps of the athletes before them.

During the day the sports facilities are used for education by The Hague University of Applied Sciences and ROC Mondriaan, and for performance training by a variety of elite sports organisations. During the evening and at weekends the facilities are made available to anyone wishing to engage in one of the many possible activities.

Our design solution is an interpretation of the brief to embody within the campus the principles of ‘motion and activity’. The upper part of the elevation is expressed as a metallic ‘ribbon’ that narrows and twists to reveal glazing on the elevation. Constructed from brightly polished stainless steel, the dynamic ribbon changes colour with different lighting conditions and cloud patterns, reflecting the animation of its setting.

As the Zuiderpark is listed as a ‘national monument’, the building has been designed to complement and preserve the unique character of its surroundings. The curved nature of the building creates the perception that the building’s edges are retreating into the distance, minimising its scale. The largest interior volumes are to the rear of the building allowing for the height to be reduced significantly at the front, where the education spaces are located. The high sided rear elevation has been positioned to respond to the urban city context, whilst the front elevation responds at a human scale to the public parkland. Here, an animated entrance courtyard acts as an extension to the park, linking the campus and the main approach routes.

The municipality of The Hague has the ambition to be climate neutral by 2040. This informed the client’s desire for a sustainable campus. The building is designed to be as compact as possible whilst providing the necessary space for the range of sport and education facilities. This combined with a well-insulated shell, has minimised energy loss.

The 34,000m² sports campus has one of the largest roof surfaces in the region with a total area of around 20,000m². The roof is covered with over 15,000m² of heat-regulating green sedum, as well as around 1,000 photovoltaic solar panels to generate energy for the building, and solar collectors to produce hot water for the showers.

The energy generated by the roof is supplemented by a ground water heating and cooling system which utilises two ground water sources at different depths. In the summer when there is a demand for cooling, groundwater is pumped from the shallower ‘cold’ water source. This water is fed through a heat exchanger to provide cooling for the building. Due to this energy transfer the water returns warmed and is fed back into the deeper ‘warm’ ground water source. The system is reversed to provide heating to the building.