A home base for Turbo-Schnecken Lüdenscheid e.V.
Although their name includes the German word for ‘snail’, this sports club might as well have been called the ‘hermit crabs’ until 2014. As an up-and-coming amateur athletics club (formed in 1990), they were dependent on leased rooms and 16 studios in the city. For a steadily growing club, this solution was rapidly reaching its limits. In 2008, the chance arose to acquire their own sports and club centre with the auctioning of the listed machinery factory Hesse & Jäger GmbH & Co. KG, a building well over 100 years old. A number of organisational and architectonic feats had to be mastered, however, before the new house for the ‘snails’ was complete.
While chairwoman Brigitte Klein sat down with her team to address the challenge of coming up with funding for the conversions, HWR Architekten focused on a plan for renovating and restoring this heavily damaged building that would also comply with requirements for buildings with listed status.
Conversion work began in 2011. Trees had to be felled, the building cleared and earlier modernisation work removed. A number of treasures were unearthed in the process. An old roller mill, for example, now stands in front of the building as a reminder of its original use. An original chimney also had to be moved. Located right next to the large workshop as it was, it had to be taken apart by hand. Manual work was also required to de-rust and restore the roof support – also a listed structure.
Structural stability and the load capacity of the subsoil also proved to be sticking points, which were only resolved with considerable effort. The old floor slab could no longer be used, even though, given the building’s earlier use as an industrial workshop, it had been assumed that the slab could be repurposed. The extra work involved here delayed the entire building project.
The ‘Schneckenhaus’ finally opened its doors in 2014. The care and attention to hospitality and club spirit is also reflected by the sanitary facilities. The club colour red was used subtly but effectively, while extras like hairdryers take user comfort to the next level. Quality, functionality and design were the key issues when choosing the fittings. On the wash basins, the PURIS self-closing tap ensures hygiene and economical use of water without compromising on user convenience. In the shower cubicles, the LINUS fitting was installed as an exposed shower panel.
Today, the Schneckenhaus offers 350 square metres of training space, advanced sports equipment, a varied programme of courses in three studios, children’s activities and a bistro – basically everything that local visitors will be looking for: recreational sports and a lively club life.
“We’ve worked long and hard to establish our own sports and club centre. And I am very sure that the fittings from SCHELL will serve us well long into the future.”
Brigitte Klein, club founder, chairwoman, and ‘Top Snail’.