Sports Savanna

Ådalen (River Valley) is a green belt in the heart of the Danish city Odense, also housing the training lots and clubhouse of the Danish Super League football club OB (Odense Boldklub).

An area adjacent to Ådalen, currently used as a football training area for a minor local football club, can potentially be retrofitted to provide extended training facilities for OB’s club members, as well as for other user groups, including sports enthusiasts, schools and neighbors.

The central city location, the adjacency to the well-visited Ådalen park and the diversified range of potential users are key factors for the new development, which will strengthen the offer for recreational and sports facilities for the entire city of Odense.

OB, together with Odense Municipality and Walk&Talk Running Club, envision a development aiming at the transformation of the area into a hotspot for sports- and social gathering for professionals and amateurs, also targeting new users such as girls, women or individuals less engaged in physical activities.

The existing grass football field will be retrofitted as an artificial pitch for optimized usage the whole year long. Two areas for running/fitness and football training will be added along the Western and Eastern edge of the area, and connected into a continuous activity loop ‘wrapped’ around the edge of the pitch to secure a multi-usage quality.

The activity loop contains a continuous running track, ‘pushed’ back and forth to create activity ‘pockets’ for a wide range of technical and physical skills training, strength training and parkour, combined with smaller areas for play and informal meeting.

The activities within the loop are positioned to create synergy with the surrounding context: running, fitness and motor skills towards the park; football training activities on the opposite side close to schools and the residential and office areas.

To further enhance the open quality of the area as accessible ‘sports-clearing’ within the Ådalen woodland, the new functions are given the shapes of grazing animals. Introducing grazing animals as functional elements for a wide range of physical activities provides the area with a new identity which relates both to the nearby Odense Zoo, as well as the ‘tiger’ symbol of the OB fan club.

An alluring fantasy world emerges: what if Ådalen was a Savanna? What if different activities co-existed within the same finely balanced ‘sports ecosystem’?

The emerging Sports Savanna contributes to the attractiveness of the Ådalen as the green oasis of Odense, while in the same time providing a spectacular center for outdoor physical activities which appeals to a broad range of future users: Welcome to the Sports Savanna!

Client: Odense Boldklub (OB), Municipality of Odense, Jan Milling, Milling Hotels

Program: Retrofit of 15.000 m2 football training area, new sports facilities and ammenities for women's football, sport clubs and self organized activities, including running, fitness, training and play

Year: 2013 -

Location: Odense

Team: Serban Cornea, Kristina Jordt Adsersen, Marcin Kruk, Denisa Petrus

Status: Schematic design