The municipal sports hall is located next to the road leading into Podčetrtek, a town in the vicinity of Terme Olimia spa complex. The hall is directly adjacent to the road, placed behind the existing earth bank. The road is also where the main entrance is oriented towards; it is accessible by means of a connecting path between two car access points on both ends of the earth bank.

Architizer A+ Awards, Sports & Recreations Centers, finalist New York, USA, 2013
Piranesi Award, nomination Piran, Slovenia, 2012
IOC/IAKS Award, silver Cologne, Germany, 2011
Golden Pencil Ljubljana, Slovenia, 2011
The International Architecture Award Dublin, Ireland, 2011
Plečnik Award, shortlisted Ljubljana, Slovenia, 2011
Salon of Architecture, ‘Guest of the Salon – Works abroad’ Award Belgrade, Serbia, 2011

project Podčetrtek Sports Hall
type commission
year 2007
status built 2010
size 3.570 m2
site 25.150 m2
footprint 2.725 m2
cost 3.600.000 EUR
client Municipality of Podčetrtek
location Podčetrtek, Slovenia
coordinates 46°09’17.6″N 15°36’27.6″E
architecture ENOTA
project team Dean Lah, Milan Tomac, Maruša Zupančič, Alja Černe, Polona Ruparčič, Tomi Maslovarić, Anna Kravcova, Zana Starovič, Nuša Završnik Šilec, Dean Jukić, Nebojša Vertovšek, Darja Zubac, Marko Volf, Andrej Oblak, Nina Kozin, Mojca Šavnik, Sabina Sakelšek, Esta Matković
collaborators Elea iC (structural engineering), Nom biro (mechanical services), Forte Inženiring (electrical planning)
photo Miran Kambič

Podcetrtek Sports Hall By ENOTA - Sheet3
©Miran Kambič

Due to its size, which considerably exceeds the outlines of traditional buildings, finding parallels with the vernacular architecture is impossible. Instead, it makes more sense to reference the larger structures of the spa complex, particularly Termalija, a building also located directly next to the main road. A dialogue of sorts is established between the two buildings: whereas Termalija gives an impression of emptiness, lightness and colour in an almost playful way, the municipal sports hall feels sterner: a full, heavy, and monolithic structure.

Podcetrtek Sports Hall By ENOTA - Sheet8
©Miran Kambič

To an extent, the appearance of the hall is a response to the role it has in the town, being the only large indoor venue. Though it is designed primarily as a sports hall, it also plays the role of the main municipal hall for cultural events with larger audiences. It is precisely its double role that serves as the basis for the detailed design of the building. The main design cue is a “red carpet” that leads the visitors to the events taking place in the building. The access path that connects the two access points is cut into the existing earth bank.

Podcetrtek Sports Hall By ENOTA - Sheet10
©Miran Kambič

It takes advantage of the spatial anomaly and uses the bank as the means of protecting the entrance from direct interference of the road. Spatially designed and confined by the bank on one side, the path also incises into the building on the opposite side. Finished in vivid colours and attractive shapes, it widens before reaching the entrance and forms a quality space with almost square-like characteristics – an access platform that gradually envelops the visitors and directs them towards the main entrance into the hall.

Podcetrtek Sports Hall By ENOTA - Sheet13
©Miran Kambič

In the evenings, the lighting ornament on the facade emphasises the solemn character of the access route. As it grows darker, the perforated cladding over the window apertures, which prevents unwanted interference of sunlight on the courts during the day, lights up in a recognisable floral pattern at night. The activity inside is thus directly mirrored on the facade and contributes to the promotion of the events and attractiveness of the building.


Enota was founded in 1998 with the ambition to create contemporary and critical architectural practice of an open type based on collective approach to development of architectural and urban solutions. Over the years Enota has been constantly developing and from its beginnings it has served as creative platform for more than fifty architects. Enota is led by founding partners and principal architects Dean Lah and Milan Tomac.

Constant changes and new complex situations in the world around us drive us to think about new architectural and urban solutions. In order to be able to produce answers to those new questions we believe it’s time to surpass the boundaries of conventional discipline set mainly by our cultural backgrounds. Enota’s team of architects focuses on research driven design of the environment where study of contemporary social organizations and use of new technologies are interwoven to produce innovative and effective solutions. Enota’s solutions are strongly influenced by research, reinterpretation and development of social, organizational and design algorithms that derive from nature. The result is always a strong binding of the buildings with the environment that surrounds them.

enota milan & dean


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