by Meghna MehtaJul 17, 2020
Czech architecture and urban design studio CHYBIK + KRISTOF has emerged as the winners of a public competition to complete the construction of the upcoming Jihlava Multipurpose Arena - one of the largest sports and leisure complexes in the Czech Republic. The construction, scheduled to commence in 2021, will revisit the existing structure of the building originally built as a sports arena hosting regional hockey clubs.
The rebuild will focus on the expansion of the deteriorating stadium into a four-storey mixed-use sports facility. As overtly implied by its name, the Jihlava Multipurpose Arena is conceived to be a versatile space bringing together legion of activities including an ice rink, running track, gym, sports academy as well as hospitality establishments and shops. Programmatically planned to entertain both regional sporting and cultural events, the architects reimagine the space as a sociocultural “urban campus” capable of accommodating over 5000 spectators.
Located on the periphery of Jihlava’s historical core, the four building multipurpose stadium accommodates public spaces throughout, intended to facilitate integration within the constructed landscape. Rather than disrupting the existing structure, the arena serves to function as a transparent interlocutor facilitating dialogue and fluidity between seemingly distinct spaces. Designing an architecture that is fluid and permeable by virtue of design, CHYBIK+KRISTOF hopes to promote interaction among the users thereby revitalising this long neglected area of the city.
The design of the new structure uses open air walkways and verdant spaces to link the four distinct building volumes, two of which already exist. While the current condition of the rectangular stadium has necessitated a complete remodelling, the sports academy remains as is – being pivotal to the history of the site. Both buildings will, however, undergo restoration to ensure better assimilation within the overall building organisation and aesthetic the architects intend to adopt.
The four complementary buildings are consistent with a red metal grid façade formed by patterns of apposed triangles referencing the city’s Baltic origins. The spacious new oval arena stands out in the centre of the complex, exhibiting CHYBIK+KRISTOF’s vision of a truly versatile building - both in terms of flexibility and programme. Serving at once as a hockey rink, exhibitions and events hall, and concert venue complimented by an indoor gym, the oval arena attracts various audiences. Its roof functions as an outdoor athletic track and viewing point, allowing users to appreciate the surrounding cityscape.
Adjacent to it is the hospitality building that brings together a number of services including a restaurant, hotel, gym and office space. Strategically placed at an intersection adjacent to the oval arena, the building provides visitors with an overview into the environment from the street itself, thereby allowing easy navigation to the desired locations. “Talking about the significance of the project, founding architects Ondřej Chybík and Michal Krištof say, “The arena is a social campus for the city – used by the people, thereby designed for the people”.
Name: Jihlava Multipurpose Arena
Location: City of Jihlava
Project team: Jiří Richter; Luděk Šimoník, Kryštof Foltýn, Martin Holý, Denisa Annová, Ondřej Mičuda, Urszula Sedziak, Tomáš Wojtek
Completion date: 2023