MVRDV - MVRDV completes The Couch, a club house for Amsterdam’s Tennisclub IJburg

MVRDV completes The Couch, a club house for Amsterdam’s Tennisclub IJburg


The Couch has been completed, a new club house for the young tennis club, which was founded in 2008 on a new artificial island in the east of Amsterdam. The roof of the 322m club house, designed by MVRDV, is folded upwards and downwards to act as an informal spectator tribune for the club, with views onto centre court in one direction, and out over the IJburg on the other.  Construction started in April, 2014. The club house is open to the general public to grab a bite or drink.

 ‘With the Couch, we have integrated sport into society’ says MVRDV co-founder and architect Winy Maas. ‘By turning the roof of the club-house into a tribune, a Centre Court is created. Here we celebrate the talent of the amateur players who are challenged to excel in front of the public. By covering the entire building in red polyurethane the club gains visibility: an advert for sports and movement. The essence of the building is the stimulation of fitness and the fight against obesity and inactivity.’

The club house is a 36-metre long open volume with services on either end such as dressing rooms, a kitchen, storage and toilets. The main space is multifunctional, so it can be used for the club’s many events. The roof dips down towards the south side and is raised towards the north up to a height of seven metres, creating an informal tribune for the club with terraced seating. This ‘Couch’ can seat up to 200 spectators comfortably. The wide glass front to the north side allows extensive natural lighting and provides a view out over the waters of the IJ-lake.

Inside the club house, the in-situ concrete structure is clad with FSC-certified wood, while the outside is fully sealed with an EDSM polymer hotspray in the same colour and texture as the clay tennis courts. The reduced glass surface to the south helps to cool the building. The thermal mass of the building, characteristic of its materialisation in concrete and wood, are used to reach a high degree of energy efficiency. It clubhouse will be heated by a district heating system made efficient by a heat exchanger. In summer there will be natural ventilation, adding to the ambitious sustainability profile of the structure.     

Tennisclub IJburg is located on a manmade island in the East of Amsterdam and opened in 2008. The tennis club, currently with 2000 members, has 10 clay courts and a tennis school. The new club house is not the centre of the club's activities.

MVRDV developed the clubhouse together with co-architect Studio Bouwhaven and structural engineer ABT. Contractor Romijn Bouw realised the building, which is MVRDV's eighth project to be built in Amsterdam.

Read more about the The Couch on the project page