Staying on the ball
Youth academy of FK Austria Wien, Vienna
Austria Wien is one of Austria’s oldest and most successful football clubs. To keep its license for the Austrian national league the club urgently needed a new training hall for the next generation of players. We had just six months to erect the building – and an extremely tight budget: a real sporting challenge for us!
A proud statement
With a height of four metres the square sports hall, which we lowered into the ground, has a dominant flat roof with a roof parapet no less than two metres high that was originally intended to carry advertising for the sponsors. In the end the club decided that only its name and that of the building should appear on this surface. After all, they certainly are something to be proud of. From the far end of the three large pitches, the building looks like a long rebound board and appears to duck down discretely at the back of the site.
A club building doesn’t need to boast or brag, but players and trainers should be able to identify with it.
The roof, from which coaches can watch their protégés on the outdoor pitches, cantilevers outwards a few metres on all sides so that in poor weather it offers protection to the numerous terraces, outdoor spaces and entrance areas. The players are, of course, outdoors most of the time, watching their teammates play or waiting to join in the game themselves.
Skilful play with space
Many of the ‘routes’ in this efficiently and extremely clearly articulated building have two functions. The heart of the complex is formed by the hall with the training pitch, which is sunken into the ground and has a synthetic turf floor, birch plywood walls and high-level glazing. The dominant mood here is one of calm concentration.
Apart from practical requirements and the need for representation, sports buildings need to offer good places to meet and to watch from. And people should enjoy being there, of course.
The ground floor circulation corridor also serves as a kind of stand for people watching the players below. From here you can also access the cafeteria, the offices, the fitness and massage rooms, and the storeroom. The teams can also use the escape routes for the offices and fitness rooms on this floor as outdoor terraces.
Light and water
The locker rooms are at basement level. A special feature here is the artificial turf flooring to the corridor in front of the changing rooms, which enables the players to use the space for warming up. The players’ changing areas receive daylight and have direct access to the outdoors. Vehicular access for deliveries etc. is via a large ramp that can also be used now and then for quick sprint training. From here you get a clear idea of the building’s entire volume. And there’s an ecological aspect too: Rainwater stored in cisterns on the big, flat roof is used to water the turf of the pitches.
Type of commission
Scope of commission
AIT Award 2012
FK Austria Wien
Net usable floor area
Gross floor area
5,6 Mio. €
Christian Szalay (PL), Christine Hax-Noske
DI Erich Röhrer