HØNG Sports Star

The second largest city in Kalundborg Municipality with 4.000 inhabitants, Høng is a railway town situated in the North-Western part of Zealand, the largest and most populated island of Denmark with a population representing 45% of the country’s total population.

Høng’s ‘green heart’ is the city’s biggest asset, containing a centrally located mix of several sports and culture facilities, side by side with meadows, woodlands and undeveloped land, and MUTOPIA was selected by The Municipality of Kalundborg to design a masterplan for the 31ha large area, aimed at providing a wider social role for the different sports activities.

How to increase the attractiveness of Høng as a settlement area, in a period when small cities are fiercely competing to attract residents? Could an active cultural and sporting environment outbalance the city’s lack of sea access and modest size?

Sport as ‘community builder’

While acknowledging a wider social role for sport as a ‘community builder’, the new masterplan for a Culture- and Activity Park takes advantage of the unique location of the area, proximity to schools, kindergarten, day care centre, library and surrounding residential areas for families and seniors, to support the development of Høng as an attractive place to live and work based on an active cultural & sporting life for both organized and self-organized activities. A new sports hall as an extension of the existing Høng Hall will cover the increasing demand for club premises and optimize the use of the existing facilities.

Social DNA

Based on an extensive analysis work and collaborative effort involving all stakeholders, MUTOPIA formulated a 5-stepped strategy for the area development. The strategy provides a robust and flexible framework for adding new program and creating synergy between existing and new, while also bringing to the table a set of core values for the future development as an expression of Høng's social DNA and a very important and specific part of the city's identity.

Phased development strategy

The 5 points of the strategy - 1. Strengthen existing qualities, 2. Connect area and users, 3. Strengthen a diverse and sustainable usage, 4. Create space for individual and common activities, 5. Build multifunctional activity areas – create urban coherence, secure a long-term relationship between existing and future facilities and users, and provide a valuable tool for a ‘phased’ approach to the future development.

‘Star’ connection

By continuing Høng’s main street into the area, urban coherence between trade, urban life, sports and leisure can be achieved. By further prolonging this ‘urban life axis’, a connection to the Centervej road is created which provides two distinct entrances to avoid traffic jams at peak hours, as well as opportunities for creating easily accessible parking space in proximity of both ‘entrances’. This considerably reduces the car traffic within the area, which in turn supports a pedestrian-oriented environment.

Situated on the ‘urban life axis’ in the very middle of the site, a star-shaped figure reaches out in several directions to create a link between school, cultural and sporting institutions and the surrounding landscape.


A subdivision into three functionally different sub-areas emerges: a ball games area towards North, a park like area towards South, and the in-between mediating star-shaped area, which provides a multifunctional urban activity area supporting usage diversity and major interaction between the many different users. Each arm of the star is an activity corridor with a specific theme which also acts as a ‘carpet’ connecting institutions, activities, landscapes and users: warm-up, street, athletics & gymnastics, tennis, gardens, outdoor kitchens etc...

‘Light’ Sports Hall

There is a huge need for halls in Denmark that can accommodate other sports activities than those of the traditional sports halls, and Høng is no exception. At the same time, the municipalities lack money to build and run sports halls. By refraining from several normal requirements for the design of sports halls, e.g. by excluding insulation, up to 80% of the construction price can be saved, thereby providing an economically sustainable and fully functional alternative to the ‘traditional’ hall. Furthermore, by hosting clubs and associations within the same envelope, lower maintenance costs can be achieved.

The proposed ‘Light’ Sports Hall will be inscribed in the overall geometry of the ‘Star’ connection, while relating to the existing sports hall by means of its tilted roof. To further contribute to the activities of the ‘Star’, the tilted roof is rendered accessible, thereby providing a visible meeting spot and an outdoor scene, as well as a vantage point from which all the activities of The Star can be viewed.

Client: Municipality of Kalundborg

Program: 31ha large masterplan for a Culture & Sports Park

Year: 2016 - 2017

Location: Høng, Denmark

Team analysis & stakeholders involvement: Serban Cornea, Kristina Jordt Adsersen, Henrik Ulsfort, Ana Barbosa, Ana Riesco

Team design: Serban Cornea, Kristina Jordt Adsersen, Henrik Ulsfort, Andrea della Longa, Mara Tomulescu, Dimitrios Adamidis

Status: Commission, under development