Built in the mid-1970s in Kaiserslautern in Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany, the hall has been completely renovated at a cost of €7.35 million – 60% of which was contributed by the federal state. "Kaiserslautern is a major regional centre for sport, and sports venues of this type are ultimately counted as one of a town's ‘soft location factors’. We are pleased that our commitment and support has enabled us to invest in the sporting centre of Kaiserslautern. The hall is an architectural success – it is visually appealing, and meets the highest sporting and energy standards", says Roger Lewentz, Interior Minister for Rheinland-Pfalz, providing a perfect summary.The measures undertaken involved three stages: modifying and completely refurbishing the existing sports hall, adding an entrance hall with unrestricted access to all storeys, and extending it to include a climbing zone. Now that the renovations are complete, the hall has almost 4,500 square metres of usable space.Three years later, it is now once again open to athletes from the worlds of handball, football, hockey, volleyball, badminton, basket-ball, track and field (including the long jump) and climbing as well as to seven schools in Kaiserslautern. And one group of sportspeople is particularly pleased to see it reopen: track and field athletes. In addition to a new playing field, Barbarossa Hall has also been fitted with a 165-metre running track, a 50-metre sprinting track, a long jump pit and seating for almost 1,000 spectators. "This means that, for athletics in particular, it the largest hall in the region", explains construction official Peter Kiefer.
Ball sports and athletics under one roof
Combining a ball sports field, a surrounding athletics area – including a coverable long jump pit – and a climbing wall, Barbarossa Hall is now a leading example in innovative sports utilization. The addition of the athletics area and climbing wall to the usual indoor sports areas means that sports have been combined under one roof that normally take place in different rooms or even outside. The athletics flooring has been skilfully integrated into the existing surface. For example, a long jump run-up track has been added to one of the long sides of the three-lane circuit track by extending the straight section of the outside lane where it begins to curve. Placing the long jump lane here saves space whilst meeting all of the requirements of school sports and athletics training alike. The long jump pit has been covered with floor sections lined with Regupol AG that can be adjusted if necessary.
Barbarossa Hall therefore shows how athletics can be organised indoors without neglecting the ball sports normally played in such venues. This concept can set a precedent for both renovations and new buildings.
Regupol AG – Running track flooring for professionals and amateurs
Athletes need just one training session to appreciate the quality of the new running and sprint tracks. BSW's synthetic track, one of the most used models in international professional venues too, combines several advantages. Thanks to its identical thickness, the jointless flooring has the same physical properties throughout and is renowned amongst athletes for its speed – benefits confirmed by Usain Bolt, the world record holder for 100 and 200 metres, amongst others.
As standard, the Regupol AG running track flooring was installed in Barbarossa Hall in several stages. After pretreatment with a primer, prefabricated Regupol off-the-roll flooring is adhered to the substructure (PUR glue). Installing this base layer provides the foundation for the outstanding properties of the track to be completed later – the factory-based and constantly monitored prefabrication of the flooring using PUR-bound rubber granules guarantees the quality (layer thickness, material density) and the desired properties (force reduction, weather resistance).
Finally, the pores are sealed – the Regupol flooring is levelled off with a special two-component polyurethane filler. The finish is provided by a top layer made up of a PUR cast coating interspersed with EPDM granules with a grain size of 1.0 mm to 3.5 mm. The jointless, grainy track surface produced in this way combines with the elastic base layer to help the athletes achieve sporting excellence. Naturally, the Regupol AG synthetic track installed in Barba-rossa Hall meets the guidelines of the IAAF (International Amateur Athletics Federation) and can be used both indoors and outside.
Following in the footsteps of world record holder Usain Bolt – with his training track in Jamaica – and those responsible for the Olympic stadium in Berlin, the people of Kaiserslautern decided on a blue Regupol tartan track. The bordering areas, right through to the multi-part pit cover, were produced in grey with the same layer structure.