Undulating Croatian sports center is an urban design masterpiece

Studio 3lhd
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The new Zamet Center in the Croatian city of Rijeka is a public square topped with a series of undulating buildings interspersed with energy-saving green roofs.

Studio 3lhd designed the complex to allow full pedestrian access to the community spaces without overwhelming the neighborhood with its scale. One third of the facility is located underground, and the rest rises in tiers of walkways and green roofs that flow though the campus. Inside is a library and retail and office spaces that are anchored by an international sports auditorium. The building extends the bounds of the bordering park while contributing to the area's community life.

The campus is sited on a slope, so access is provided by flights of stairs. Complementing the upper adjacent park is a series of green roofs that enable rainwater infiltration and help regulate the temperature of the buildings beneath. The plaza is covered in ceramic tile, and the ribbon effect of the levels or “stripes” is inspired by local rock outcroppings. The exterior flows easily into the interior, and the undulating mass scales the façade so as not to overwhelm the plaza—thus creating a more natural and inviting environment for assembly. Tucked-under parking, along with the project’s sizable subterranean development, also helps give the project a human scale.

Daylit halls provide access to a 2,380-seat auditorium, which uses a telescopic stand system, allowing it to adapt to different uses quickly, expanding the usability of the space. The 16830 square-meter complex’s daylit and open space succeeds in creating an accessible and approachable public venue.

Undulating Croatian sports center is an urban design masterpiece