By Catherine Langer
Lethallen is a sustainable sports hall for street culture sports by Vandkunsten, located just outside of Copenhagen, Denmark. The CO2-neutral hall is built exclusively from sustainable materials, and by following certain economic principles, it provides a high variety of sports facilities to the area at a fifth of the price.
Lethallen by Vandkunsten is not a traditional sports hall. It is a new, economic alternative to the conventional sports hall that costs one-fifth of the price of a traditional indoor sports hall of the same size.
Vandkunsten was asked to develop a new hall for sport activities that could be built, run and maintained to a lower price than a conventional sports hall. At the time, the Danish municipalities were having financial difficulties building and running the conventional sports halls. Meanwhile, there was a growing need among the population for new facilities that accommodated other sports activities than what is known from traditional sports halls.
Vandkunsten created a Lethal that is a true economic alternative to the traditional sports hall by designing the building from a simple wood construction and by leaving out certain facilities from the design, such as changing rooms, bath or restroom facilities, electrical installations or thermal insulation.
The Lethal is CO2-neutral, exclusively built from environmentally friendly materials: its main material is wood, creating its load-bearing frame, while its facades are primarily convered in polycarbonate, made from residual plastic.
In order to produce optimal light conditions in a building with no electrical installations, both facades and gables are coated in transparent polycarbonate. During the day, light can enter the Lethal from both walls and the transparent cladding above.
One of the hall´s facades can be opened with sliding doors, creating a connection between the actitivites inside and outside the hall. The choice of materials also creates cohesion between outside and inside: the building’s wooden structure continues outside the building into a massive wooden deck, while a punctile sports floor of rubber granulate is used as both floor material and outdoor coating.
The rubber granulate floor is a versatile and robust coating material that is usually used for outdoor coating, which supports a high variety of sports activities both practised inside and outside, such as skateboarding, BMX-biking and basketball.
The Lethal is mainly created to support informal street culture activities, such as skateboards, BMX and roller skates. Due to its simple design and layout, the Lethal is easily managed by the users themselves. With its high variety of activites to practice both inside and outside the building, the Lethal also attracts many different users and thus serves as a social meeting place for the whole area.
The Lethal is designed as a prototype to other municipalities, associations and companies that with its simple construction and materials can be easily adapted to other locations, as an economic, sustainable and user-driven alternative to the conventional sports hall.