The Pulse brings together a multitude of users, needs and functions within one building with an ambitious social and sustainable agenda. This variety of functions and users means that one size does not fit all. The Pulse is hence developed by considering the needs of each space and each user, and tying them together in a series of complementary design solutions.

My house, my town: The Pulse will be a vital place for the public everyday life in Balling, which will accommodate a range of different individual needs, while in the same time stimulating the local community and social activities.

Welcome: The Pulse has the potential of becoming a ‘powerhouse’ which will complement the already existing sports- and recreational facilities, while in the same time acting like a local attractor for a range of different activities and visitors from far and wide.

A green future: The Pulse will contribute to creating a sustainable and lively environment, while in the same time providing a major inspiring contribution to the innovation of the physical and cultural framework.

By situating the Pulse to the south of the existing Sports Hall, a synergy between the Pulse, hall and Balling School can be developed in terms of both usage and maintenance. Organizing the program on two levels creates a compact energy efficient building volume, while in the same time securing the preservation of all the existing outdoor sports fields.

The four program ‘houses’ are situated in such a way as to take advantage of the sun orientation and site conditions: the Culture and Health Centre towards north, Wellness Centre and Sports Centre towards south.

Twisting the top of the building volume clockwise transforms the compact and functional program box into an accessible landscape, which interacts dynamically with the surroundings. Two generous ‘Spanish Steps’ stage the sports- and recreational activities on the stadium and sports fields towards south, and the public plaza towards west. The twisting of the building volume ensures maximum visibility of main entrances from the Stadion Allé towards west and parking area towards east. Towards north, a spacious connection between the Pulse and the existing Sports Hall arises.

The four ‘houses’ are gathered around a central atrium space, which provides compact circulation routes, simple wayfinding and multiple visual connections between the programs.

The Culture Centre contains a multipurpose sports hall in full building height situated on the north-eastern corner towards the plaza. This minimizes the noise nuisances for the residential area towards east, while in the same time allowing for multiple physical and visual interactions with the western activity plaza. Music and IT related facilities are situated on the first floor with balcony access to the sports hall, while a number of workshops situated in the southern wing of the existing Sports Hall contribute to creating a lively environment between the buildings.

The multipurpose sports hall receives natural light through the north façade and skylights, while the inner glass façade towards the foyer contributes to making the hall become an integrated part of the foyer experience.

The Health Centre is situated towards north-east in order to secure optimized light conditions, direct access from the parking areas towards south, and contact with a more tranquil area. The Health Centre is distributed over two floors, with the Medical Centre and Emergency Room at ground floor and the lunch area, dentist clinics, dietitian and physiotherapist at the first floor in close proximity to the Fitness Centre. Generous waiting areas with close contact to the atrium are provided on both levels. All the clinics are provided with terraces to create a healthy working environment with an intimate and homely atmosphere.

The Fitness and Wellness Center are situated towards south-east in direct connection to the outdoor swimming facilities with geothermal water. The Fitness Center is placed as a balcony within the Wellness Centre in order to create visual connections inbetween the programs, thereby creating a double height room towards the outer façade within the pool area below. The terraced floor of the pool area is stepping up towards south to enable views over the sports fields, while in the same time providing space for the technical basement underneath.

The Sports Centre includes the Sports Association situated as a balcony on top of the café with both balcony view and a direct connection to the sports fields integrated in the southern façade. The direct visual and physical connections with the café and sports fields contribute to creating an informal atmosphere of social interaction and exchange.

The dynamic geometry literally makes the building to ‘change shape’ as one revolves around it, combining a gentle volume appearance closely related to the hall and school buildings with an organic twist which integrates within the facades public routes towards south and west, a climbing wall towards north, springboards towards south-east, as well as informal areas for hanging out, sitting or playing.

The main loadbearing façade structure consists of 1m deep glulam timber beams with varying inclinations, stabilized with prefab cross-laminated timber floors and walls to secure off-site manufacture, rapid on-site erection, reductions in on-site wastage, and with further benefits in the area of carbon sequestration and reduction.

Further contributions to the energy profile of this low-impact building include designing out the need to use electricity for cooling; heat production provided by a geothermal heat source, PV based electricity production, daylight and natural ventilation, as well as a number of integrated energy solutions aiming at the reduction of heat, water and electrical energy consumption.

Client: The Self-owned Institution Pulsen in Salling

Program: Community Center including Culture Centre, Health Centre, Wellness&Fitness Centre and Sports Centre, total area 3590 m2

Year: 2011

Location: Balling, Denmark

Team: Serban Cornea, Kristina Adsersen, Nanna Jee Lind Eriksen, Arash  Nourinejad, Peter Westergaard Thomsen, Lars Tønnes Larsen, Lorenzo Parrot

Collaborators: Buro Happold Aps

Status: Competition