Polytan sports surfaces for a new "elite sports school" in Munich
LEARNING WITH OPLYMPIC FLAIR
If athletes from Munich are competing for Olympic gold, silver and bronze medals in a few years’ time, it may be that they attended the Gymnasium München-Nord school: this new educational establishment in the Milbertshofen-Am Hart district has been one of 43 "elite sports schools" across Germany since July 2016. The sporting disciplines they focus on are volleyball, judo, basketball, archery, athletics, swimming, synchronised swimming, short track (speed skating), table tennis, football and trampolining, all of which are funded in partnership with sports federations. Many sports facilities provide training to Olympic standards in order to meet the requirements of an elite sports school. Polytan was in on the action when the outdoor facilities were installed: all the areas for track and field athletics – including a 110-metre sprint track – and two basketball courts were covered with synthetic surfaces made by the Burgheim-based sports surface specialist. Soft-impact surfaces from Polytan were installed on the fitness trail and beneath the monkey bars and climbing frame.
The four-form entry school was constructed by the building directorate of the Bavarian capital and provides places for up to 1,000 girls and boys and 100 teachers, with special measures being taken to develop the sports skills of one class from every year group above middle school age. The school was designed by architects from the firm h4a Gessert + Randecker Generalplaner, who managed to combine the high demands of teaching and sport in a ground-breaking style of architecture. Their plan is an exemplary execution of the Munich learning house concept and also provides premises flooded with light and ultra-modern equipment.
Light as an element of architectural design
The centrepiece of the school is the three-storey main building with a virtually unsupported assembly hall of around 1,000 square metres. A platform and seating areas make this a very pleasant public space, although this is also down to the chosen materials of wood, exposed concrete and glass, a harmonious combination found throughout the school. Large windows and walls with triple glazing, skylights and glazed courtyards produce a bright and friendly atmosphere everywhere.
The ground floor of the main building also accommodates a cafeteria with a kitchen, a multi-purpose room and a library. The top two floors are where the offices and classrooms are situated.
Connected to the south of the main building are three learning houses in which several year groups form "clusters". Each of the two-storey learning houses has a central forum with a courtyard around which are grouped classrooms, staff rooms and sanitary facilities. The main building and learning houses are arranged in a row, allowing the four structures to be linked by a wide thoroughfare.
In the north, a triple-purpose hall built partly below ground level and with seating for almost 200 spectators backs onto the main building – with a ceiling height of 10 metres, it is suitable for matches in the German volleyball Bundesliga. A 15 x 15 m unsupported judo hall in the basement is another one of the school’s attractions and has a gym and weights room to complement the facilities for indoor physical education.
The outdoor sports facilities were designed and executed by the Eichstätt-based architects Hackl Hofmann Landschaftsarchitekten commissioned by the Munich building directorate. They also provide optimal conditions for the demands of elite sport, including two basketball courts, a high jump, long jump and shot-put area, a 45-metre-long bouldering wall, a 110-metre running track and a real grass football pitch. The outdoor installations are rounded off by a fitness trail, monkey bars and a climbing frame.
100 per cent fit for competition – the synthetic surface Rekortan M
When it came to the 110 metre six-lane sprint track, the landscape architects opted for the water-impermeable Rekortan M synthetic surface by Polytan in classic running track red. This is a winner in terms of its good acceleration and tread elasticity, optimal shock absorbency and sports medical values. The fact that the granules are interspersed with visible tips means that it is ideally suited to spikes. Poured in-situ, this surface has also proven itself on the international stage by hosting numerous IAAF Diamond League athletics meetings, including many world bests and world records.
PolyPlay S – the durable all-rounder among synthetic surfaces
The PolyPlay S synthetic surface from Polytan was installed on all the outdoor sports facilities requiring a smooth but non-slip top layer with very good ball bounce behaviour. The two basketball courts were finished in the same brick red as the running track, whilst the high jump, long jump and shot-put areas stand out in an elegant light grey. What is more, the PolyPlay S system is water-permeable, so the surfaces dry very quickly and can be used in all weathers throughout the year. As the two-course sports surface is durable and easy to maintain, it is ideal for heavily used school sports facilities.
Soft-impact PolyPlay FS – the shock-absorbing synthetic surface
The PolyPlay FS soft-impact surface in light grey was installed in and around the areas of the fitness trail, the monkey bars, the climbing frame and the 45-metre-long bouldering wall – and duly attuned to the required drop heights of the equipment. The system consists of two layers: the top layer is 15 mm thick and manufactured from high-grade, completely newly produced EPDM granules (rubber). The second, supporting layer is made of recycled materials and provides the requisite elasticity. The thickness of the base layer varies between 30 and 115 mm, depending on the critical drop height. There are soft-impact surfaces up to a drop height of 3 m, with a handrail required by law above this.