Sports Hall Bale
Bale,  Croatia

Bale (Valle in Italian) is a small village in Istria peninsula, Croatia with mostly agricultural population of 1000 people. The project for the new sports hall has been faced with the rich historical, cultural and social Mediterranean context. Therefore any new architectural interpolation had to have a respectful approach to the environment. The solution has been found in interpreting the traditional ways of building by new technologies.
Inspiration for structure has been found in the small traditional stone hut - kažun, a small multifunctional building used as a shelter for shepherds that provide a cool environment in hot weather and insulating against the cold in the winter. Traditionally built without any cement or mortar with carefully selected interlocking stones found on the site this structure is a primitive example of prefabrication present in the Mediterranean since the prehistoric times. The traditional local dry stone wall motif has been used as a template/pattern for the whole surfacing of the sports hall.
On the other hand, being the second largest building after the church, the social importance of the sports hall for the town community is considerable because, besides as a sports venue, it is used as a public facility for various social gatherings, from community meetings, trade fairs to watching World Cup. Actually, the size of the building has been defined by the basketball playground and modified by additional facilities on the gallery: a fitness centre and a sauna, while the low and small locker rooms are planned as a connection element to the school. This connection to the old school with the utility rooms is hidden underground. On the other hand, the private and intimate character of the building is juxtaposed to the open public primary function of the building and its openness by glass fronts to the street.
The sports hall concept has been made to meet the design and construction time schedule of 11 months, which was possible only by using RC prefabricated elements. All the bearing and façade elements of the sports hall have been made from prefabricated elements.
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