Gymnasium for street sports
2013 - 2015

Street sport all year round

Lightweight gymnasium at 20% of normal price

In Denmark there is a big need for sports facilities to encompass other activities than the traditionally popular sports such as European Handball and badminton. At the same time, the local municipalities do not have the economy to build nor maintain the traditional facilities. Therefor the foundation for sports and local culture Lokale- og Anlægsfonden (LoA) invited Vandkunsten and two other architecture firms to develop the second generation of an economical alternative to the conventional indoors sports gymnasiums.

The Lightweight Gymnasium (Let hal) has its name from its equipment; the concept is stripped from normal demands such as insulation and installations. Along with other restraints this saves up to 80 % of the conventional price of construction.

The first of Vandkunsten Architects’ Lightweight Gyms have been built by the city of Gentofte to accommodate street sport acitivities such as skaters and BMX bikers.

Prepared for adaptations

The gymnasium is basically a large shed which could have many dimensions - it is part of the concept that it is adaptable to the needs of different local communities who want this kind of facility. Therefore we have developed a parametric BIM model to easily accommodate adaptations of the Light Gym concept.

- Niels Pedersen, Constructing Architect MAL

Wood building keeps the price down

The simple gymnasium type is built at a fifth of a traditional Danish sports facility. Despite the very low budget it has been possible to build a beautiful structure by using solid wood

Skaters love the perfect hard surface which is used inside as well as outside

Outside inside outside

The facitily has lots of daylight and it is possible to open up the façade to connect the indoor and outdoor spaces

CO2 neutral

The lightweight facility is CO2 neutral solid wood structure with facades of transparent polycarbonate. The untreated wood has a raw yet warm and inviting expression day and night.

Demand for architectural quality

Demands for the concept include the interior area to be at least the size of a conventional one. Furthermore there is a demand for architectural quality as well as avoiding expensive wet room installations, insulation and heating


BMX bikers run hard on the soft ever-changing rolling landscape of dirt.

Project facts


Project name: Gymnasium for street sports

Category:Culture & Institutions, R&D

Client: City of Gentofte

Location: Gentofte

Gross area: 1000

Date: 2013 - 2015

Status: Built

Cost of construction: DKK 5 mio


Program: Facility for street sports

Activity: New built

Job type: Won competition

Construction system: CO2 neutral solid wood structure. Facades of transparent polycarbonate as well as untreated wood

Contact: Søren Nielsen,

Project group: Niels Pedersen, Kim Dalgaard, Mirjam Hallin


Architect: Vandkunsten

Engineer: Moe

Consultant: leverandør: Lilleheden