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Tens of thousands of square metres will be dedicated to sport on the new rooftop terrace of the University of Physical Education in Budapest. As a spectacular element of the campus development, the general designer TSPC has also planned sports fields on the roof of the building. The design required unique structural solutions; the rooftop terrace of the Alkotás Street block will feature a 500-metre running track, an outdoor training park, a green arbour and a café terrace. The rooftop sports field will be designed with a sustainable approach. It is going to have a large solar park, rainwater harvesting system and green vegetation, providing a fresh environment for professors and students. In addition to the previously presented concept of the Alkotás Street block, TSPC has shared a detailed gallery of images presenting the new visualisation of the university’s sports terrace.

One hectare and an inspiring sporting experience      

The 10,000 square metre facility will be Europe’s largest metropolitan university sports terrace, offering sports facilities 8.5-11 metres above the streets. The rooftop will feature a 500-metre Rekortan running track, teqball tables, fitness, street workout, TRX, strength training equipment, slackline, ping-pong and an outdoor yoga area. There will be a shaded relaxation area perfect for taking a break – a café and benches, tables and a green lawn.

“We believe that the view of the Buda Hills, the silhouette of the Castle Hill and being wrapped in the embrace of the Gellért Hill will provide a unique and inspiring sporting and social experience for athletes. A section of the roof will rise one level above the sports roof as an event terrace, where guests are welcomed by a stunning panorama of Budapest,” says Szilvia Könözsi, TSPC’s director of department of architecture.

Structural engineering – Budapest University of Technology experts

The architectural concept was combined with specialised knowledge: the structural engineers of the TSPC had to find a solution for calculating the dynamic loads resulting from sport activities on the supporting structure of the so-called long span halls. Currently, the standards do not provide any calculation requirements for such large span structures with this function –  the athletics hall will have a 54-metre span and the swimming pool a 38-metre span support structure. The TSPC experts, together with the Department of Structural Mechanics of the Budapest University of Technology, have been able to design for this specific case.

“The combined sports functions and the design of the large sports roof are unique not only in Hungary, but also in the region. The Alkotás Street block of the University of Physical Education challenged TSPC to provide the highest level of technical solutions and a true collaboration across disciplines,” says architect Mihály Kádár, owner and CEO of TSPC. In addition to the work of our expert team, this required the application of so-called BIM (Building Information Modeling) technology, in which TSPC is the market leader in Hungary.”  

During the design process, the high-level professional planning was developed by more than 150 engineers. An exciting aspect when designing the location of the sports functions on the roofs of the large-span halls is the dynamic load testing of sports fields, such a large building has to be designed with special attention to human motion: for example, aerobics classes for more than 30 people will be prohibited on the roof.

Addressing sustainability issues: solar panels, rainwater harvesting, cooling pavements

When designing the sports terrace, a priority was to take an environmentally conscious approach: the architects designed only permeable pavements, typically using natural materials and providing adequate conditions for vegetation. Rainwater will be collected on the rooftop, and the building and its surroundings are well-prepared for rainfalls. Solar energy will be collected by solar panels placed on the south-facing tilted surfaces of the athletics hall’s skylights – it is going to be used for sports lighting and to power the internal mechanical systems. Compared to the warming of flat roofs, the micro-environment of the sports roof will be about 5-6 degrees more favorable, thanks to the vegetation, cladding choices and the optimization of water use.

The  Alkotás Street’s sports terrace will be a unique and iconic feature in the renewed, 78 000 square meter area of the University of Physical Education. The development is a major educational investment on a regional scale, which will support the high quality work of students and professors.

Interesting facts about the Alkotás Street block

The Alkotás Street block will have various sports facilities, including a 50-meter indoor swimming pool, an indoor athletics hall, a gymnasium, a halls for ball games and a shooting range, as well as a dormitory with 400 student capacity .

The swimming pool in the Alkotás Street block is in accordance with FINA standards, making it suitable for competitions. However, in the basic design concept this has not been the aim, it was rather important to give the possibility to athletes to prepare for competitions in qualified conditions.

Hungary’s first indoor athletics hall suitable for television broadcasting will be built here, including the 200-metre running track inside the building.

The building will have a fine concrete façade. The cladding has both perforated and embossed elements. According to the designer’s intent, the perforation running through the building as a shell is meant to provide openness and transparency. The cladding shows the thickest breakthrough on the Alkotás Street façade, then closes in towards Győri Street.

The Hauszmann Historical Garden will become a cosy green recreational area on the campus: the protected garden is enclosed by the 13-metre high wall of the athletics hall. TSPC’s designers wanted to visually continue the historical heritage by creating a vertical garden. The huge wall, 66 metres long and 7.5 metres high, will be turned into a green wall with the help of landscape architects and specialist designers.

The University of Physical Education is being renovated in several stages over an area of around 78,000 square metres, while the athletics hall and the multi-purpose hall on Csörsz Street is currently under construction.

New Campus of the University of Physical Education, Stage 2

Athletics hall-Swimming pool-Sport hotel, Gymnasium, Hall for ball games-Shooting range, Dormitory-Student Hostel

Planning phase: 2017-2019

Client: University of Physical Education

General designer: TSPC Kft.

Lead architects : Mihály Kádár, Szilvia Könözsi– TSPC Kft.

Project manager architects:

Zsolt Bánhegyi, Csilla Szántó, Csaba Faltusz – TSPC Kft.

Péter Bach DLA, Dénes Halmai – Formiconcept