The Danish Foundation for Culture and Sports Facilities

The mission of The Danish Foundation for Culture and Sports Facilities is to develop and support construction in the field of sport, culture and leisure.

It is the aim to contribute to the innovation of the physical framework. The task is to move the focus away from the conventional approach based on standardised facilities towards an approach which to a much greater extent is based on the actual development in people's physical and cultural activities as well as on architectural and aesthetic parameters.

Innovation in relation to the design and planning of culture and sports facilities is rooted in changes and new patterns in everyday life, and the challenge is to combine the best of tradition with the new trends of cultural and social habits.

Especially the world of sport and physical culture is changing concerning the pattern of participation and activities. Over the last thirty years there has been a radical change in the proportion of the population who are actively engaged in sports, the total number has almost quadrupled. Women are now just as active as men, and people continue to be active even in old age. While sport was previously mainly for children and young people, adults now constitute an age group very actively engaged in sports. A lot of new types of activities have entered the scene and play a dominant role - first and foremost in the area of fitness.

Today the world of sports is characterised by differentiation, niche cultures, improvisation and constant change. The sports scene is becoming increasingly complex, the result being that innovative solutions are demanded to meet the new cultural diversity. Similar trends have been observed in other European countries as well.

Since 1994 The Foundation has been working in this area of renewing the concepts of sports and cultural facilities:

  • New ideas concerning houses for water culture, ice skating rinks in the urban space, multifunctional indoor halls, sports playgrounds, community centres and club houses have been introduced. The fundamental aim is to construct facilities which call for curiosity, openness, flexibility and cultural richness in order to meet the demands of organised as well as unorganised activities and to invite traditional as well as new activities of sport and culture.
  • Abandoned factories, closed down military facilities and other derelict buildings, many of which are situated in urban centres, are awaiting conversion into new facilities for sport and other cultural activities according to the same guidelines.
  • Greater emphasis is being placed on facilities for sport and culture in present-day urban planning and urban regeneration. Obvious possibilities of creating a physical framework and possibilities for cultural vitality, health and cultural interaction in the city should be utilized.

Architectural competitions are used as an important tool to provide new proposals for the design and planning. New activities and changed participation patterns call for new thinking and creativity among architects concerning ideas of building and planning.

The Foundation manages public venture capital corresponding to an annual amount of 10 million euro, and acts as an independent expert council under the Ministry of Culture.

To sum up, grants are based on these criteria:

  • Creativity in function and activity
  • Innovative architectural design
  • Aesthetical and ecological qualities
  • Multi-functionality of building complexes
  • Cultural integration of various activities
  • Local engagement and user dialogue
  • Non commercial purpose
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