Biel, CH | Delémont, CH


Sports hall Vernayaz

The commune of Vernayaz decided to build a new sports hall dedicated to school sports activities and local societies through an open architectural competition.

In spring 2015, the Commune of Vernayaz awarded the mandate for the planning of the Centre de Sport du Trient following the first place won in the competition. The premises program was subsequently completed with the addition of premises for FC Vernayaz. Two years later, in August 2017, work began on the project. In spring 2020, the work was completed.

The proposal stands out for its appropriateness of placing the sports hall on the east side of the SBB railway line, in the sports area. The new building has a strong identity, creating a meeting place for sportsmen and women.

Pragmatism and sobriety were the guiding principles behind the architectural and construction choices. Non-standard solutions were developed to meet the community's specific needs, while at the same time underlining an elementary architecture that is nonetheless rich in different quality spaces.

The project revolves around two key issues for the Vernayaz village center and its development. One issue is the strengthening of the link between the public spaces on either side of the SBB tracks. The other is the dialogue between the site and the pronounced character of the mountains in the immediate vicinity.

The layout of the sports hall creates a new public space for sports facilities. Placed directly on the edge of the road and resolutely turned towards the sports fields, the new hall is both the head of the sports complex and the connecting element linking it to the village center. Its presence is underlined by the importance of its location at the main entrance to the Valais.

The hall communicates with the very distinctive mountain environment that creates a unique setting for the village. It is in dialogue with the stone and nature of the mountains. With its monolithic concrete volume, the sports hall represents a strong landmark linking the village center to the other side of the railroad tracks and the sports complex. The cube is composed of a hard, mineral shell with a single opening per facade, and a warm wooden cladding on the inside. The three ground-floor entrances are cut away, revealing the cladding inside the building. 

In principle, materials reveal their character in their rawest state. Their characteristics reinforce the qualities of the inherent spaces, contributing to a balanced and complete perception of the architecture, taking into account aspects of light and acoustic comfort. The use of synthetic building materials has been minimized. 

2016 Competition 
2016-2017 Planning, project 
2017-2019 Construction
Procedure Open project competition, 1st rank - 1st mention 
Client Commune de Vernayaz

Floor area 2'000 m2
Total cost CHF 8'000'000
Team Diego Comamala, Toufiq Ismail-Meyer, Marie Frund-Eggenschwiler, Véronique Heissler
Collaboration Atelier Jordan, Zurich

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Status: Built
Location: Vernayaz, CH
Firm Role: architect
Additional Credits: Photos by Andrien Barakat