After a successful collaboration on the renovation of the legendary Thialf ice-skating arena in Heerenveen and after having won a German Design Award 2018 for its design, architects ZJA and DAY creative business partners decided to publish NEXT. In this magazine we present our vision on venues of the future, our selves and our work. We also wish to provide a platform for the voices of athletes, sports marketing consultants, managers of football clubs, and multifunctional centers like Rotterdam Ahoy and MartiniPlaza in Groningen. It is a shout-out to kindred spirits, a presentation intended for future partners and an invitation to join us on our journey to explore the sports and leisure buildings of the future.
We believe that sports and leisure buildings of the future will function more and more like public living rooms, a third place to be alongside home and work. They will be integrated further into the urban environment, in close proximity to shops and offices. They are likely to house schools, or healthcare facilities, and they will be important trail-blazers for innovation in sustainable building, waste management, and ways to connect business and education.
We believe that developing big sports and leisure venues should be a process that does not start with the needs of one club or company, or a financial plan that fits an attractive location, but with the question of what a city or a region needs, other than a new stadium or a congress hall. Such buildings must be designed to thrive, to change, to be part of the city.
Developing a stadium or sports venue on a robust economic basis and assuring that it becomes part of an adaptive and living city, meeting all necessary cultural, social and economic pre-requisites, will require new and unconventional forms of collaboration and a more organic and context-related approach.
This magazine may be a one-off, or it may be the first in a series. Such is the open nature of our research. We invite others to join us.