Kitzingen is a small German town of twenty thousand inhabitants located in the state of Bavaria in Germany. Surrounded by vineyards (its main economic engine), the city is characteristic of Central Europe: low density with a classical historic centre (an almond shaped area, surrounded to the east by the river Main and by train tracks to the west) of gabled roofs and radial growth – in ‘siedlung’ – of small grain single-family houses alternated with large industrial, commercial and agricultural buildings.
Our plot is a triangle of sports facilities located on the left side of downtown, bordered to the north by a regional road and by streets on the other sides. An open plot, occupied by football fields, a sports hall to the east and single-family houses and a small hiking centre known as ‘Radlernest’ to the south. The entire site is bordered by large old trees that must be kept.
The first decision of our proposal is the demolition of the old ‘Radlernest’ building, too small and fragmentary to accommodate the requested program, so that it is possible to arrange the new complex in a more favorable position. The choice of location to the north of the allowed building area (realisierungsteil), seeks to obtain the maximum amount of well-oriented facade -where we place the program with a more intensive need of sun exposure- thus freeing the whole southern part of the plot to place the outdoor areas without the building shading them.
The multiple entrances of the new multifunctional space ensure an adequate connection with the surrounding buildings (football field, basketball court, Florian Geyer Halle, etc…) turning the interior into a space of connection, a continuation of the exterior pedestrian routes.
The outdoor spaces of the building are designed following organic shapes that generate diverse areas for each of the user groups, spaces where one can enjoy life outdoors.
The ground floor is the most public part of the program. Its arrangement is based on the opposition between: (1) Amalgamated spaces (foyer, playground, children and family area), which can form a ‘continuum’, generating crossed visuals and enabling the permeability of the building and its interconnection with the outside; and its negative (2) spaces with a more specific function (auditorium, band room, etc…) which require greater independence and privacy.
However, thanks to a series of sliding doors, it is possible to divide the amalgamated space into different areas, not only into large functional pieces (youth area, children area) but also creating independent “niches” within the functional packages themselves, as requested in the functional programme. At the same time, the positioning of the dividing doors in the amalgamated space, allows for an independent use of the auditorium with the sufficient toilets and without any need for the rest of the building to be open. On the first floor the functional programs with greater independence have been placed: those being the offices and the ‘entities hotel’.
The volumetry arises from the division of the floor into the different functional groups (youth area, auditorium, children area, administration, meeting rooms, facilities and warehouses, etc.): it is proposed for each one of them to occupy a “little house” with its gabled roof -something that the old Radlernest already had and is characteristic of the traditional architecture of Kitzingen- in such a way that the final complex forms a “village” with a domestic and appropriable atmosphere.
Inside each one of the small houses, the volumes with more specific functionalities are also configured as autonomous volumes with their own gabled roofs, obtaining surprising spaces with double heights -such as the Jugendcafe- or configurations on a scale suitable for the children in the family space.
On the other hand, thanks to the opening of windows in the vertical walls and roofs -both of the exterior volumes and of the interior ones- interesting visual concatenations are generated relating spaces to one another, opening up vistas of the sky or the surrounding garden and allowing light to flow in all directions.
The proposal seeks an economical, modular, dry, sustainable and low-maintenance construction system, with a load bearing structure and a cladding system made from a lightweight wooden framework. The finish will be adapted to the functional and atmospheric needs of each of the spaces.
A highly sustainable building is achieved, both from a technical, ecological and social point of view. A well oriented, compact building, with a huge amount of natural light entering through the numerous openings (which can be protected by darkening the rooms with rolling blinds), and with an efficient and centralized active installation system. In short, a building with low consumption that will be an educational example of energy saving for generations to come.