Sports Centre


Sports Centre Buchholz 


8610 Uster




Floor Area:  2'200 m2

Building Volume: 24'900 m3

Completion:  January 1998 



  • Research & Brief Development
  • Full Architectural Services

Awarded the prestigious Swiss Prix Fédéraux des Beaux-Arts 1998, the German Bauweltpreis 1999 and the “Young Architect of the Year Award 1999”, the Buchholz Sports centre was built following a successful architectural design competition and complements the Sports Complex of Buchholz in the town of Uster.

The client’s brief required a cost-efficient 3-field Sportshall, designed to international standards with seating for 1,000 spectators.  A high quality of architecture was demanded from the new building within the masterplan for the designated sport facilities area.

Hall of light

The completed Sportshall has been described as "a hall of light". The slender steel structure is clad on all sides with glass (north/south transparent, east/west translucent) through which light floods the interior, even on cloudy days.  At night the building changes appearance and projects its internal activities to the outside world.  The translucent facade glows in the dark, guiding visitors to the sports centre.

Special attention was paid to the user-friendliness. It is based on the principle of optimising daylight and providing a clearly structured building, allowing for maximum orientation.  Overall harmony was achieved through a subtle choice of materials and colour.

Significant environmental aspects

The concept of the building allowed the integration of the following ecological aspects: The building is naturally ventilated through air-vents in the facade.  While the interior bathes in natural light, use of additional artificial lighting is controlled through a daylight-monitoring system, which automatically regulates each light fitting to an optimum pre-set level. Due to a good U-Value of the light-diffusing special glazing, the level of heat loss for the entire building is considerably below stringent Swiss building regulation requirements.  The Sportshall was built without a basement to avoid disturbing ground water levels and a planted roof replaces foliage from the ground occupied by the building. Rainwater is retained by the earth-covered roof and re-enters the natural cycle through evaporation.

Integral concept and design process

The manageable size of the project enabled the architects to take on responsibility for the quantity surveying as well as site management. This guaranteed a highly successful transition from the first concept to the final construction. Vibrant colours act to objectify the pavilion. The colours in the larger spaces resonate the shade of the chosen materials. Together they form a natural harmony of space and colour.

The Sportshall is the result of an integral concept and design process. Each element is multifunctional. This allowed costs to be minimised by reducing the number of elements, which in turn facilitated clarity and simplicity in the architecture. The result is optimal orientation, which makes the Sportshall user-friendly for spectators and athletes alike.