Adidas, by Neutelings Riedijk

Neutelings Riedijk - Design Adidas World of Sports, Herzogenaurach

Around their headquarters in Herzogenaurach Adidas is currently building a sort of mixed-use campus with architecture that supports the brand. For this campus Adidas held also a competition for a ‘World of Sports’, well - a sports hall.

The Dutch architect Neutelings Riedijk send in a design that uses the iconography of the Adidas Logo. Instead of placing the 3 gyms next to each other Neutelings Riedijk have stacked them. The height of the trusses is used to accommodate dressing rooms, wellness areas and health care. Indeed, very OMA. Stacking is definitely not a very practical solution at this generous site (prolonged walking routes, expensive construction), but the resulting high building might function as a landmark at the Adidas campus. The image-language of the Adidas ‘Performance’ Logo is echoed in the three ‘bars’ that function as stairs at back, the painted bars at the side, and the stepped façade at the front.

Neutelings Riedijk did not win the competition. The jury appointed three winners. All winners feature a low building with the three gyms put next to each other. One of the winning schemes is designed by Lab Architecture, and is presented here. The designed are all photographed from top, the Google-Earth perspective, to be able to show the differences between the designs. From a lower angle all designs look the same if I exaggerate, with the exception of the Neutelings Riedijk scheme off course.

Lab Architecture Studio - Adidas World of Sports 1st prize

Fascinatingly the newly opened Outlet Store at the Adidas campus by Wulf & Partner looks very much like the architecture at the current ‘Running’ advertisement.

Wulf & Partner - Adidas Factory Outlet Store, Herzogenaurach

Wulf & Partner - Adidas Factory Outlet Store, Herzogenaurach

There are some other remarks to be made about the design of Neutelings Riedijk. It looks retro. If one looks at for instance the current advertisements of Adidas one realizes why – the new shoes are multicolored and feature fluid and highly complex lines. They have much more form than the design of Neutelings Riedijk has. I wonder how the design would have looked like if the architects had used curved lines and a different color pattern, and whether or not they had won with such a design. On the other hand, the advantage of taking the logo as the basis of the iconography of the design is that the logo is used for more than one season – it might be more flexible in that sense.

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