Competently curved with PASCHAL: the new sports centre in Sarreguemines

The sports centre which is currently being built in the French municipality of Sarreguemines will not only be used for training by schoolchildren and sports clubs in the future, it will also host supra-regional competitions. The walls of the striking building complex leading to the foyer of the new sports centre are slightly curved. The construction company Sotravest used PASCHAL's circular trapezoidal girder formwork with clamp connection, TTK for short, to form the walls with a slight curve.

Sarreguemines is a town in the department of Moselle in the French region of Grand-Est, about 20 kilometres south of Saarbrücken. A new and modern sports centre will make the region better known throughout nation. The Bliespark in the Emile Gentil neighbourhood will not only host regional and supra-regional competitions, national competitions will also be held there. The builder of the 6,000 square metre sports centre is an association of regional municipalities, the Sarreguemines Confluences agglomeration community. The focal point of the new sports complex is a large multi-purpose hall, which is regarded as the heart of the centre and which will have 1,500 seats for school sports or for hosting sports competitions. The multi-sports complex will also house a fencing hall with 14 pistes and stands, which can be converted into a versatile sports hall, as well as a training field that can be used by pupils but which can also serve as a warm-up area during competitions. Further key areas are planned:

•   Storage units for sports and teaching materials

•   An adaptable teaching room/meeting room

•  A clubhouse-style social area (with bar and snack counter) during competitions

•   Offices specifically for sports instructors and clubs. 

Around 18 million euros have been invested in this facility. The Communauté d'Agglomération Sarreguemines Confluences has received financial support from the Grand Est region, the department of Moselle and the National Sports Agency.

An arena with national appeal emerges

Atelier FERRET Architectures is the architect that designed the Bliespark with support provided during construction management by the architect Christophe MINAIRE from Sarreguemines. Atelier FERRET Architectures wanted a compact and functional building, that would take the wooded and sloping terrain into account. The sports complex fits perfectly into the general topography and creates a unique view of the Blies valley and the sunset. The terrace overlooking the entrance to the complex enhances the monumental entrance area thanks to two long beams that are connected by two major overhangs. This technical masterpiece which was requested by the architect was made possible by the expertise of SOTRAVEST.

Sotravest decided to use the circular trapezoidal girder formwork with clamp connection (TTK) to concrete the slightly curved walls. 200 square metres of the formwork solution from PASCHAL were rented. The formwork specialists drew up the formwork plan so that the two curved walls could be formed in five steps.

Marc Tritschler, site manager at Sotravest: “ The greatest technical difficulty was connecting to an existing straight wall with circular formwork to create a curved wall on top. With the support of PASCHAL's technician, we chose the solution shown in the second picture below, namely that the height of the formwork was adjusted so that a 1.50 metre high panel could pass over the existing straight wall. We are very satisfied with the technical support from PASCHAL provided personally by Mr Schweitzer during the planning phase, which made it possible to choose the best technical solution for the execution of the work. The Sotravest production teams led by foreman Mr Erdal did a remarkable job on this outstanding building.”

The large radius makes curvature almost invisible

The striking architecture of the new sports centre is characterised by the geometry of the curved walls. Anyone attending a sporting event will notice when they enter the foyer that the walls are not aligned at right angles. But the curvature is not easy to recognise, particularly in photos. According to Jan Skipka, the curvature is almost invisible because the circular formwork was pre-rounded by PASCHAL with a radius of 267.5 metres: “If you were to complete the wall with this radius so that it forms a circle, the building would have a diameter of over 500 metres,” explains the Key Account Manager International Business at PASCHAL.

The construction workers from Sotravest were able to form the slightly curved walls using TTK as to create a smooth curve without any kinks. The construction company used the trapezoidal girder formwork with clamp connection because it requires fewer connecting panels, allowing the company to work more flexibly. There was another factor that made the work easier: the work platforms formed a unit with the formwork and were firmly secured at the start. The combination of formwork and the Multip working platform did not have to be dismantled during implementation, which saved the construction company a lot of time.

The order volume for the formwork was just under 26,000 euros and the formwork work was completed in August 2023. Once completed, pupils from the Collège Fulrad in Sarreguemines, primary schools and sports clubs in the region will be able to train and organise sports competitions here. When designing the outdoor facility, the municipal association placed great importance on sustainability and biodiversity. The roof terrace and the surrounding gardens as well as a landscaped promenade along the restored Lembach and an athletics track will serve as a recreational area for the residents of the neighbourhood.

After just over three years of construction, the sports centre is scheduled to open in spring 2025.