The Blue Light of the Balearic Islands: Sports Centre in Puig d’en Valls
Recently, the basketball and handball players from Puig d’en Valls, a community on Ibiza, have been able to stay dry and avoid glare as they practice in all weather conditions in their new sports complex. Thanks to the translucent façade, they can experience the various moods of light arising from time of day and season, just as they did when they played outside.
The architects lay great value on a close link between inside and out. Originally, the community had planned to roof in the old sports fields, for use was often limited by the powerful rays of the sun. Moreover, moveable partitions were to enable concurrent use by several teams and, placed at the perimeter of the fields, block lateral solar glare. But during the building phase, when the steel structure of the roof had already been erected, the client expressed a wish for a permanent, solid cover. Simple masonry work proved to be an inexpensive, flexible solution to the various requirements. This stands self-supported in front of the steel structure and looks quite delicate. Only intermittent anchoring to the supporting structure was necessary.
The lattice façade of alternately lying and standing bricks allows light and air into the hall through its opening, which takes up about 43 % of the total façade area. The interplay of transparent, monocoque façade surfaces and closed-off, two-shell masonry of concrete blocks and bricks gives the sober structure a playful touch. While filtered, warm-coloured sunlight falls in through the façade, skylights in the shed roof provide glare-free light that reflects from the aluminum roof to the floor and bathes the hall in a cool shade of blue. The sculptural, rhombic shape of the shed roof characterizes the interior space; it can also be read on the exterior of the building.