The LAAX Freestyle Academy building is to be completely rebuilt then re-open in 2024 as an entirely carbon neutral facility.
The Swiss resort’s freestyle academy – a year-round centre of learning and excellence for freestyle sports complete with indoor ramps, jumps, big airbags and trampolines – first opened 12 years ago, the first in Europe, using a former indoor tennis centre. Since then freestyle academies, which first appeared in the USA, have opened in other European nations, including the UK, and the wider world.
The current facility will be moved into a huge Big Top tent provided by Switzerland’s largest circus for two years from July whilst the new carbon-neutral complex is built. The Big Top, provided by Switzerland’s largest and oldest Circus, Circus Knie, will be located by the Prau la Selva Sports Centre in Flims, just two minutes from the Academy building and will open to locals and tourists in July 2022.
In the meantime, the Freestyle Academy will be renovated to the highest ecological standards set out by LAAX’s Greenstyle Initiative and will therefore be entirely carbon neutral as per agreements with the Weisse Arena Group, LAAX’s parent company.
By reusing materials from the existing structure, waste will be kept to a minimum and by spring 2024 a brand-new freestyle hall will reopen underground, bigger and more action-packed than before.
The circus tent, with a 44-metre diameter and a height of 14 metres, not only offers space for old favourites such as the skate bowl and the airbag with trampolines, but also new, artistic elements from the circus.
“The circus theme and freestyle in combination is designed to inspire young and old alike. It’s a totally unique experience, and we hope it will pique the interest of new fans who fancy trying something new in a welcoming and supportive environment,” said Reto Poltéra, CEO of the Weisse Arena Gruppe and responsible for the leisure and sports sector.
Ivan Capaul, the Freestyle Academy’s Operations Manager said “A simple gym would be too boring for our replacement. The nature of the Freestyle Academy demands something more unusual.”