Due to Promotur’s and Consorzio Piancavallo Dolomiti Friulane’s efforts and the adoption of Mondo’s solutions, Piancavallo today represents a reference point for all sport fans that throughout the year visit this mountain location.
The idea of building a palasport (sports arena) in Piancavallo was born when this Friuli’s location was selected to host some competitions of the 2003 edition of the Winter Universiadi organized in Tarvisio. Inside the still unfinished building, a training court was set up while the official competitions where held in the adjacent Palazzetto del Ghiaccio (ice ring). After the Universiadi, due to insufficient financial resources, the incomplete facility remained unfinished and unused until Promotur took an interest. “The structure was transferred from the Regional Tourism Office - remembers Enzo Sima, Piancavallo’s Polo’s Director - to Promotur that, within its general ski activities investment plan, devoted some funds for the completion of the structure.
Promotur objective, from the very beginning, was to set the facility such that it could be used for multiple sport activities and ready for soccer, basketball and volleyball training at high altitude.
“In the beginning the structure looked incomplete, in particular the locker rooms while the playing floor - remembers architect Vincenzo Perinelli, technical and construction director – was made of quartz/cement, a material not suitable for sport activities other that those exclusive to a skating arena. One of the first decisions was to divide the large floor (40x70 m) into four play zones in order to make the structure as multi-functional as possible and capable of hosting multiple simultaneous activities”. The selection of the type of flooring was fundamental to achieve the desired poly-functionality. “The initially planned wooden floor was discarded after taking into consideration altitude and geographical position of the arena; the much better performing Elastiflex was therefore selected. This choice has allowed improved versatility and better stability between summer and winter temperature changes,” remembers Perinelli.
The usable space has been divided such that four activities can take place simultaneously, one of them in the longitudinal direction. Each sector is equipped with a retractable stand such that, when the arena is used for an important soccer or volleyball match, the curtains can be lifted generating the space required for the event. What makes the complex truly poly-functional are two, Mondo produced, vinyl curtains that divide the entire surface in three separate playing zones. These curtains can be raised to 7m from the ground, with an automated electrical mechanism, thus generating a regular 31m x 8.5m field where the indoor soccer can be played.
One of the challenges has been to create a structure that would please the hardcore sport lovers that could also be used in both winter and summer. Piancavallo is a well-known winter sports location where more than 100 snow activities are organized every winter. The new structure has the objective of expanding the range of sport events to the summer season as well. “With this arena we have widened the range of sport activities also for those teams that pick Piancavallo for their athletic training – Comments Sima. This summer, for example, we had the basketball team from the nearby Aviano American Base, a junior volleyball team from Udine and a few junior basketball summer camps. Even the Venezia soccer team chose Piancavallo for its training thus being able to complete the preparation that would have otherwise been jeopardized by bad weather. All those who have tried for the first time the new arena have made enthusiastic comments on the complex as a whole and the innovative indoor solutions in particular”. The facility can also host non sport events due to Mondo’s supplied Sport Protection Floor, a device that protects the sport flooring. Last summer, for example, the arena hosted the prize giving ceremony for all disciplines of the regional Italian Winter Sport Federation, with an attendance of more that 300 people.
The merit for the versatility of the sport arena goes mostly to Mondo’s products that have fulfilled the expectations of both the client and the designer. As for the flooring, beside the 2,700 square meters of Elastiflex, Mondo supplied 300 square meters of rubber flooring type Idea One, made of 3 mm thick sheets, used to line the area set for the retractable stands and the associated walkways required to access them. The three stands also have been supplied by the Alba’s firm (Mondo); together with the four roofs installed electrically retractable baskets and the associated 24” boards.
Each transversal field, as well as the central one, is equipped with electronic scoreboards. All equipment for other sports (indoor soccer and volleyball) has also been supplied by Mondo together with 2,750 square meters of Sport Protection Floor to shield the whole Elastiflex area during the non-sport activities.
Beside the flooring and the interior sport structures, the designers that got the Piancavallo arena restructuring task, also had to make significant changes to the whole building. “A significant overhaul was made to the basement where new locker rooms were set up for referees, athletes and even for those who park their campers on the side of the building. One area has been reserved for the cross-country ski lovers; all mechanical equipment and heating systems have been refurbished. On the upper floor, there were already some locker-rooms that have been renovated to reflect the new standards. The roof was repaired to eliminate water leakage. Storage rooms have been renovated as well as all outdoor paving. An elevator between main floor and basement has been installed while great attention has been paid to the arena acoustics and thermal insulation with the installation of uninterrupted insulating layers on the whole building with the added benefit of lower maintenance costs”, notes the architect Perinelli.