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School centre sports hall in Gloggnitz, Austria

Exercise space on all levels

published in sb 1/2021

Dietmar Feichtinger Architectes is implementing the ambitious educational programme of the new open and integrative school in three dimensions. The new secondary school has a strong bias towards sport. As a spacious volume visible on all floors, the sports areas form the spatial and conceptual focus of the square floor plan.


Like all rural communities, Gloggnitz with its popu­lation of 6,000 is a municipality that is battling with a dying village centre. In order to strengthen the location, the three previously separate schools (primary school, new secondary school and special needs centre) have been concentrated in an attractive, shared new complex.

Gloggnitz Sports Hall sb 1 2021 05_Upper Schoolyard David Boureau.jpg

photo: David Boureau

School centre’s ground floor symbolises openness

Gloggnitz Sports Hall sb 1 2021 12_Entrances and Sport Facilities David Boureau.jpg

photo: David Boureau

The ground floor is fully glazed and therefore visually permeable inwardly and outwardly. The entrance is located close to the centre in the north-west, overlooking a large public forecourt. The projecting first floor forms a broad canopy, creating a weather-protected entrance zone and drawing inwards those arriving. It marks the transition from the public outdoor area to the interior of the school.

Load-bearing structure

As a spacious, 7.88 m high, visible volume, the spatial and conceptual centre of the square floor plan is formed by the three sports areas. Domed skylights illuminate this open and central space with natural light. Covering it is a filigree, optimised, three-dimensional steel frame with a ­30-metre unsupported span.

The rooms adapted to the various activities – the general sports hall, gymnastics hall and climbing wall – extend through all levels from the basement to the roof terrace. The space above them forms the airy centre of the foyer: glass balustrades and fine suspended rope nets as fall protection and ball stop netting create a space that is visually permeable throughout. The sports areas are bordered on two sides by seating stands behind glass balustrades, turning the sports hall, gymnastics hall and climbing wall into a stage.

Good to know

Gloggnitz Sports Hall sb 1 2021 15_Entrances and Sport Facilities David Boureau.jpg

photo: David Boureau

Gloggnitz, Austria

Municipality of Gloggnitz

Dietmar Feichtinger Architectes
FR –  93100 Montreuil

Isabella Marboe

David Boureau and Hertha Hurnaus

Official Opening
August 2019

Construction costs
EUR 20.54 million

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Clear and legible structure

Gloggnitz Sports Hall sb 1 2021 02_Facade NEast Hertha Hurnaus.jpg

photo: Hertha Hurnaus

The ground floor is the public area: at the entrance there are two cloakrooms, and all special needs and other classrooms are arranged in a ring around the open sports and exercise space and are readily accessible for external use from the foyer or the side entrances.

All classrooms of the three school types are located on a common level on the first floor, arranged around the wooden roof terrace with prism-shaped lantern skylights above the sports space. These articulate this large, shared open space for all, which can also be used as an “outdoor classroom”. Around this open courtyard, the school centre is organised on the cluster principle: classrooms that can be opened up are grouped around a so-called “market place”, which merges into the open circulation zone. In this way lessons can take place in an open space situation involving several classes. All areas thus become the setting for shared learning and interaction across school types.

Rooms flooded with natural light

Gloggnitz Sports Hall sb 1 2021 10_Entrances and Sport Facilities David Boureau.jpg

photo: David Boureau

The central air space is illuminated via glass elements integrated into the structures on the terrace. Alternatively, illumination is achieved from above via the glazed decking and the side glazing. The side glazing permits sight lines between the terrace on the first floor and the sports rooms on the first basement floor.


During lessons, the classrooms are mainly supplied with natural fresh air via automatically controlled window ­sashes. Their regulation is based on constantly measured CO2 values in the classrooms and thus ensures efficient, energy-saving, natural ventilation.

During the breaks and overnight, “shock ventilation” is carried out for a rapid air change. Three vents per classroom are integrated into the façade. Used air is extracted in the equipment rooms of the sports halls. Sound-insulated overflow elements in the classroom walls and the permanently open stairwells create a defined ventilation route.