Planica Nordic Centre is state-of-the-art national Nordic sports complex that raises Slovenia’s international profile in the sports and sports infrastructure fields.
BREAKTHROUGH SOLUTION: an innovative approach to turning passive leisure time into active leisure and an architectural achievement of sustainable construction
ABOUT THE PLANICA NORDIC CENTRE:
- state-of-the-art national Nordic sports complex that raises Slovenia’s international profile in the sports and sports infrastructure fields;
- the core activity of Planica Nordic Centre is the provision of the best possible conditions for ski jumping, cross-country skiing and Nordic combined, along with conditions for basic preparation of athletes and competitions at the highest level;
- in 2023 it will host the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships, which will undoubtedly be the biggest sporting event in the history of independent Slovenia;
- the centre is distinguished by an innovative approach to encouraging the active use of free time, where every passive observer is converted into an active visitor;
- activities include disc golf – a modern outdoor activity and an effective way of spending leisure time. Disc golf is an innovative form of aerobic exercise and recreation.
- The Planica Nordic Centre is an architectural masterpiece located in the protected area of the Triglav National Park;
- “Planica is special, unique, unrepeatable. A Nordic centre like this, combining ski jumping and cross-country skiing in one location and perfectly integrated into the natural environment, has never been seen before” (Aleš Vodopivec, architect);
- it is a morphological masterpiece in which the topography of the terrain merges with the architecture to the maximum degree while at the same time the architecture impacts on the typical Alpine landscape in a manner that is as non-invasive as possible;
- the architects have arranged the ski jumps – on the edge of the Triglav National Park – in a fan shape, with the result that from a common point at the top of the hill they extend in the form of a scree. This introduces the appearance of orderly infrastructure to the landscape. They have also regulated the aesthetic appearance of the valley with a new channel for the torrential stream and the grading of the valley floor;
- on arrival, the visitor to Planica sees just 15% of the total 8,500 net square metres. The remaining 85% is hidden deep below the earth;
- the central structure, the so-called interpretation centre, also represents a unique architectural achievement that unites ski jumping and cross-country skiing in one place. The building’s purpose of use can be adapted to the season or the needs of competition organisers. The building incorporates two wind tunnels, an indoor cross-country skiing trail and an interpretation centre and its clear multipurpose design makes it unique in the world.
A SUSTAINABLE COMPLEX OF GLOBAL SUPERLATIVES:
- the integration of sports facilities into the natural environment gives the centre a strongly sustainable orientation at the same time as enabling year-round use of sports facilities with multifunctional structures designed for use by both athletes and visitors;
- the indoor cross-country ski trail is used for cross-country training in summer and at the same time allows the storage of a large quantity of snow for the next winter;
- the innovative system for heating, cooling, irrigation and snowmaking is most effective in autumn, when the cross-country trail is simultaneously cooled, while a by-product of cooling is the heat energy that is used to heat the main building. The same pipes are used to cool the snow-covered cross-country trail and heat the underground garage;
- the water reservoir represents a “small technological victory”. All the water from the structures of the Planica Nordic Centre flows into a nine-metre-deep concrete pool that deepens gradually to ensure the safety of forest animals that may use it to drink from. This water is used in summer to irrigate all the ski jumps on which training takes place and in winter to make artificial snow;
- the Planica Nordic Centre has received an Interreg Alpine Space gold award in the green management and environmental technologies category for the most innovative and informative installation for the exploitation of near-surface geothermal water anywhere in the Alpine region.
PLANICA NORDIC CENTRE, Rateče, Slovenia