Sports Centre

Date 1973–1977
Architect Miloš Totušek
Code Z10
Address U Zimního stadionu 4286, Zlín
Public transport Public transport: Sportovní hala (TROL 1, 4, 7, 11, 12, 13, 14)
GPS 49.2184922N, 17.6594164E

At the beginning of the 1970s, Tělovýchovná jednota Gottwaldov (the Gottwaldov Sports Union) united 28 groups. It was the only organisation whose mission was to care about mass and competitive sports and physical education not only in the city, but in the entire region. TJ officials had spoken of a major shortage of facilities for ball games and other sports a decade earlier.
The design for the construction of a new sports hall was selected on the basis of an internal competition between Gottwaldov design companies in 1969. The winner was the Stavoprojekt design institute and its architect Miloš Totušek, a graduate of the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague (1941–1948) under Professor Pavel Smetana. The atypical indoor facility was completed in 1977 and, in addition to ball games, was to serve other sports – rhythmic gymnastics, table tennis, athletics, boxing, and a variety of athletic disciplines.
The sports ground is located between Březnická Street and U zimního stadionu Street. The hall stands north of the winter stadium building, with which it is connected by a leisure atrium into one complex. The terraced layout of the three-storey building, which the architect chose due to the sloping terrain, helps to smoothly overcome the height differences between the two streets. The simple composition of the building with a cantilevered roof is defined by a combination of the distinctive concrete horizontal bands which contrasts with the glass surface of the façade. This consists of metal profiles with float mirror glass. The architect also designed the outside spaces, including cash registers and entrances, which are common to the stadium and the sports hall. The atrium area is bordered by a fence with protective retaining brick walls, which connect the sloping terrain and at the same time acoustically separate the sports centre from the surrounding residential areas of Letná and Nad Ovčírnou. Another carefully-composed architectural element is a U-shaped staircase on the southwestern edge of the building. 
The interior of the sports hall is designed to separate spectators from athletes and members of the physical education unit. The arrival of spectators is differentiated according to the type of ticket. Standing spectators enter through the turnstiles, which are common to the sports hall and the winter stadium. Seated spectators come through the spectator hall. On the ground floor there are club rooms, changing rooms with accessories, ten accommodation rooms, an administrator's apartment, and technical rooms. On the second floor there is an entrance hall with a spectator locker room, a cafeteria, warehouses, and sanitary facilities. The hall with a size of 24 × 48 metres is on the top, third floor and is fully air-conditioned. The height difference of the sloping terrain is used for the stands with a capacity of 3,200 spectators. As with many sports buildings in Zlín, an interesting roofing structure was used. The roof structure consists of a tubular grate with a span of 48 metres with 9-metre overhanging ends, mounted on 4 steel pillars, which are located in the interior outside the auditorium, so as not to obstruct the view. Despite its unique design, it still utilises prefabrication. The hall consists of a two-storey reinforced concrete prefabricated skeleton structure called Priemstav. The design provided for the placement of a work of art in the public space. Since the mid-1960s, a government resolution has been in force, requiring 1 to 4% of the total construction budget to be invested in artistic decoration. The sculptor and designer Zdeněk Kovář, a professor at the local workplace of the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design, who ran the Machine and Tool Shaping Studio, was invited to collaborate. On the north terrace of the building is his metal figural statue depicting a handball player in motion.
The sports hall as well as the atrium and areas of the former turnstiles and brick fencing are now dilapidated; the hall and its surroundings are awaiting renovation. Nevertheless, the building still functions as a sports ground and, in addition to matches, there are also shows and concerts. Overall, however, the building has been neglected, and the façades suffer from visual smog.