- New furniture
Location : Wilrijk, Belgium
Architect : Polo Architects
Interior design: Stefanie Vyncke, Studio Meraki
Sector : Workspace
Interior designer Stefanie Vyncke from Studio Meraki and Ethnicraft’s contract department have been working in close collaboration on the Belgium Hockey national teams’ “Training Centre of Excellence”. The project seeks to completely reinterpret the design and use of first-class training facilities. The goal was to create a professional yet cheerful space where the Belgian hockey elite could feel at home on and off the field.
From the outside, the modern wooden building, surrounded by hockey fields, already draws attention with its warm vertical timber beams that connect the three floors. To top the beautiful exterior, large floor-to-ceiling window frames further complement the design, ultimately piquing anyone’s curiosity of what awaits on the inside.
"The new training centre on Wilrijkse Pleinen is one of my favorite places in Antwerp. We moved in after the Tokyo Olympics. Now we have a fitness and physio room, large meeting rooms for player briefings, a dining room, a players lounge and a rest and study area."
Alexander Hendrickx, Belgian Red Lion national hockey player.
In line with the exterior, the interior presents one surprise after the other. The Hockey Centre of Excellence holds so much more than any other elite training facility. Apart from the obligatory gym and physiotherapy room, the premises also provide players and staff with a war room to discuss tactics and do match analysis, a communal kitchen and dining area, a coworking space to study, and a lounge for players to unwind and hang out with teammates.
“With teammates, we often drink coffee in the N701 sofas in the morning, discussing everything except hockey. It's the best way to start the day before focusing on our training.”
Nicolas De Kerpel, Belgian Red Lion national hockey player.
As such, this recently inaugurated training complex, home to the Red Lions and Red Panthers, represents a new kind of space that encourages athletes to grow off the field while supporting them to stay among the elite in the sport. A challenge that is even more relevant as the Red Lions won the Olympic gold medal in Tokyo.
With strong ties to the hockey community, we’re undoubtedly proud to play a part in providing the national team with the best surroundings to succeed!