Etienne Demazy

Etienne Demazy

Sports centre for the Jonfosse area in Liege. ISA Saint Luc Liège (Belgium)

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After an analysis of the Jonfosse area -situated in the centre of Liege- and in accordance with the various criteria it covered, a guiding outline common to all the students was given. This established the programmes that were to revitalize this abandoned area as well as the various most appropriate settling sites.

Thus, one of the fallow lands, situated just beside a school, was chosen for a multi-functional programme (divided among four students) made up of a youth hostel, lodgings, a car park and a sports centre. The issue at stake with the latter was to reconcile a suitable scale for the area with an influence on the whole town, thereby bringing a new dynamic. The programme planning had to be inspired by this dialectic.

On the one hand, the sports centre includes the infrastructures which are necessary for the numerous schools in the neighbourhood : sports grounds, swimming pool. This guarantees its functioning during the week and a large part of the year.

On the other hand, there are also supplementary facilities such as saunas, hammams, jacuzzis, squash grounds which are likely to attract the general public. Thus the sports centre functions also in the evenings and the weekends.

Moreover, it is possible for spectators to attend sporting events on removable terraces.

In plan, the functions are organised according to two main poles : the sports grounds on the one hand, the swimming pool on the other hand. The latter is designed in such a way that it uses the tank of the existing pool. The two poles are articulated around a common cafeteria which offers a views on both sites. A section shows that, whereas the structures intended for the schools are in the socle, the supplementary activities are organised within a second stratum which overlaps the first.

The viewer can understand the complexity of the plan by means of a circulation system based on a stroll which takes him through the building. Besides, the splitting up of the functions -which is inevitable with this kind of programme- is offset by continuous attention to the visual links that are made by overhangs, perspectives, etc. The viewer can thus mentally reconstruct the building’s functioning diagram thanks to the position of his body in the space.

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