Szombathely, the cultural center both of its county and its region stretching over borderlines, now has another public institution. Having been completed according to the winning design of a national open design competition, Arena Savaria, thanks to its urban setting and its design successfully integrating function and space, became a popular venue not only for sports events but also for theater, classical and pop concerts and the traditional Savaria International Dance Competition.
Due to its dimensions, the new facility stands out against its architectural background, however, with modest design and materials lending muted elegance to the building. The interior and structure of the building opens up through wide gaps cut out of the simple stone cube of the hall. These wall openings supply the hall space with natural light during the day and also contribute to the emblematic character of the facility when illuminated at night. Towards Hadnagy street, the building is entirely open on ground floor level providing an indirect visual, and for certain events, also a functional link between exterior and interior spaces. On the main façade, designer “glass eyes” enhance the architectural transparency created by the all-glass entrance. The two predominant materials of the interior community spaces are exposed concrete and wood. The cold durability and sturdiness of concrete is well balanced by the warm color and texture of the wooden structures.
Sándor Pálfy, Tamás Fialovszky, Éva Ivanics, Gábor Sajtos