The small Saxon community of Wülknitz is located halfway between Leipzig and Dresden in the Elbe Valley. There, ESV Lok Wülknitz e.V., the local sports and ninepin bowling club, used to practise on a ninepin bowling alley in an old barracks at the edge of the village. In 2016, the local council decreed to build a new ninepin bowling alley and made a call for tenders. The aim of the competition was to con- centrate both fields of the club’s sports activities — ninepin bowling and football — in the village centre and thereby consolidate the club’s function as a social venue and haven in this rural community.
After finishing first in the competition, the recently established archi- tectural office KO/OK Architektur was entrusted with the construction.
The new, one-storey building is directly adjacent to the local authority and the sports ground, thus uniting the club’s different sports activi- ties at a single venue. The village centre, by then sparsely characte- rised in a structural or functional sense, was densified and upgraded thanks to the creation of this new venue and place to stay.
A roofed terrace marks the entrance to the building, whose cen- trepiece is a four-lane bowling alley fit for competition. This area is connected to a spacious multifunctional common room featuring bar and kitchen and linked directly to the outdoor space with the adjoining football pitch. The building’s second section runs parallel to the bowling alley and is structured by the secondary rooms, such as the changing and utility rooms, the showers, and the office, sanitary and storage facilities.
In order for the new development to comply with the estimated, very low budget, everything was reduced to the essential during the plan- ning process. Thanks to meticulous fine-tuning, a largely prefabrica- ted wooden structure emerged that feeds on the most basic solutions of industrial warehouse construction.
The building’s wooden structure is characterised by a straightforward and discreet indoor and outdoor design. The interior is dominated by visible, glue-laminated timber girders that span the entire building as well as by the plywood surfaces of the flat roof. All installations for the ventilation of the shower facilities and those for lighting run visibly along the ceiling while the coloured linoleum floors and access doors serve as an accentuation of colour. On the outside, the building is clad in a simple wooden robe. The rear ventilated, rift sawed larch wood planking, erected on the concrete base, was given a grey glazed finish and terminates in a setback attic made from titanium-zinc. The additi- onal vertical profile of the facade bestows upon the structure a subtle and tectonic elegance — despite its overall simplicity.