Multipurpose Sport Centre in Tarbes | IDOM | World Design Awards 2023

IDOM: Winner of World Design Awards 2023. The project is the result of an ideas competition for the transformation of an old military industry building from the early 20th century into a large sports center of reference for the city, the region and the country.

The building, oriented north-south, measures 125 m long by 85 m wide, organized into a 20 m high central building and two 13 m high side buildings.  Endowed with a clear and repetitive geometry with a sawtooth roof, the buildings emulate the nobility of a cathedral, despite a very poor exterior appearance, the result of the passage of time, of neglect and the absence of a façade cladding. This nobility is confirmed in the interior thanks to the expressiveness of the polychrome structure that, although worn by the passage of time, defines the character of the space with the spectacular zenithal light that penetrates the glazed roof across fifty percent of its surface. 

Our proposal aims to maintain the value of the pre-existence, while fully preserving the perception of its original character, even with the introduction of a new, light and colorful world, characteristics linked to the playful character that the building should express. On the one hand, we intervened on the flooring, hitherto gray, filling it with colors to define the new sports areas: athletics, basketball, handball, badminton and climbing. On the other hand, the requirements of the new sports program (lobby, changing rooms, federation rooms, offices) are resolved with a block of intense yellow color that in turn forms two large climbing walls that are the protagonists of the central space of the project. It is perceived as weightless, floating in the industrial cathedral space thanks to the fact that it is embedded in the large pillars of the building and hangs from the pre-existing bridge cranes, thus giving them a new life. This piece also becomes the upper tier for spectators and the element that defines the boundaries between the different sports areas.  

Finally, our design provides the building with a new façade consisting of a brick base, in harmony with the architecture of the neighborhood, and white cladding that extends to the edge of the roof.  The latter has been resolved with white mini-wave sheet metal, commonly used in the industrial world, in which new strategic openings are inserted to express the public purpose of the new building and open it up to a more permeable relationship with its surroundings.

Project Details

Iñaki Garai Zabala, Gohar Manrique San Pedro, Inés López Taberna

Project Name
Multipurpose Sport Centre in Tarbes

World Design Awards Category
Sports Design Built

Project Location

Project architects: IDOM: Iñaki Garai Zabala, Gohar Manrique San Pedro, Inés López Taberna; Locals architects: UFFAU & ASSOCIÉS; Other architects: IDOM: Pablo Blanco Porto, Cristina Jodar Chamorro; Project Management: IDOM: Gohar Manrique San Pedro; Costs: ALAYRAC: Fabien Tonasso & IDOM: Inés López Taberna + Gohar Manrique San Pedro; Structures: IDOM: Miguel Ángel Valverde González; Environmental Engineering: IDOM: Arturo Cabo Ordóñez + Lucas Legay; Lighting: IDOM: Miguel García Castillo; Public Health Services: IDOM: Arturo Cabo Ordóñez + Lucas Legay; Electrical Engineering: IDOM:Arturo Cabo Ordóñez + Lucas Legay; CAD: IDOM: Iñaki Zabala Ziarsolo; Administration: IDOM: Clarisse Guiraud; Site Supervision: DUFFAU ASSOCIÉS: Pierre Duffau & IDOM: Iñaki Garai Zabala, Gohar Manrique San Pedro, Inés López Taberna, Lucas Legay, Miguel Angel Valverde, Arturo Cabo.


Photography ©Credit
©Pedro Pegenaute

IDOM was created as an association of professionals grouped together with the intention of providing a top quality response in the global market from a multidisciplinary approach. At the same time, it is committed to signature architecture, understood in terms of respect for the creative values historically contributed by the architect, and with a clear vocation of service to the client as the recipient of the final service. The London-based magazine Building Design, in its World Architecture’s Annual Survey ranking for the year 2022, which lists the world’s leading architecture firms, ranks IDOM in 44th place.