Sport company L&T Osnabrück

The L&T sports company from Osnabrück is challenging e-commerce. Since the traditional department store opened, it is possible to train in mountain air, climb, play football – or surf while shopping. No, not on the internet, but using a board and waves. And according to the motto ‚Off the net, back to nature!‘ the visitors find themselves standing on the surf arena’s decks –watertightly enhanced by Naturinform. A total of 250 square metres have been covered using ‚robust‘ decks from the Upper Franconian company’s product range.

Patio decks
Robust in grey and anthracite

Construction year

Type of construction
Pool for riversurfer

surf pool in the L&T-Sporthaus in Osnabrück (Lower Saxony), Germany

The waves roar as Janina Zeitler steps onto the board. The current European champion in ‚Stationary Wave Riding‘ is only 17 years old, but in her hometown Munich already a celebrity. One of the few womenthat surf the wild Eisbach there. Now she is trying out the Hasewelle in Osnabrück. The board glides, turns there and back. The water hisses and sprays. The audience on the stands are getting wet. It looks as if Janina cannot get enough of the new wave.

Indoor pool for river surfers

‚Riversurfing‘ is far faster than surfing on sea waves: You ride on asingle wave that is standing in the water. L&T‘s new, 35 million Eurosports house is situated directly in the pedestrian area in the Lower Saxonian university town, and Germany’s second indoor surfwave was only just opened in March.

‚We are almost half an amusement park with a department store attached,‘ managing director Mark Rauschen explains the concept of the spectacular new-build. ‚We bring sport into the sports‘ house.‘ Customers can try out all possible trendsports on four floors themselves. Sport fashion is sold by the ‚most innovative sports house in Europe‘ more or less on the side.

The sales floors are grouped around a large atrium. A riviera blueshines up from below. There in the basement is where the pool with the wave for river surfers is located. At the opening, 80,000 (!) visitors were fascinated by the wave pool.

Slip resistant solution for the floor

The pool surroundings and the stands fit in perfectly, subtly andunobtrusively with the glass architecture. The finely grained decks in subtle grey and anthracite are not impressed at all by the spray, and allow hundreds of interested visitors to stroll safely alongside the pool. Unimpressed, as this surface is on the one hand natural, but at the same time technically enhanced. Slip resistant, even in rain – or, as here, directly next to a pool.

The company Naturinform specialises in intelligent solutions for outdoor surfaces and profiles. At their production site in Bavarian Redwitz an der Rodach, so-called wood composite materials are produced. A material that combines the optical features of traditional building woods with the sustainability of a technical polymer.

Wood yes, but suitable for a pool, please

‚We wanted to have wood beside the pool, so that visitors would feel really comfortable there,‘ says construction manager Lutz Brinkmann. ‚But we were a bit worried about the wet conditions.‘ Surfers and audience were not to slip at the waterside. Additionally, the surface has to look good for years, despite the constant spray of water. ‚Fortunately, the architectural office Prof. Moths from Hamburg told us about Naturinform,‘ says Brinkmann. ‚They have decks that look and feel like pure wooden decks, but at the same time are suitable for pools.‘ In a TÜV Rhineland test (2011), Naturinform’s decks were awarded the highest degree of slip resistance – R13 according to DIN51130, and Class C according to DIN 51097. During production the wooden fibres are combined with the thermoplastic polymer in such away that it covers every fibre like a protective coat. Because the polymer itself is absolutely water repellent it means that no water can penetrate the finished deck – but it retains the optical and thermic features of wood that is still 70 percent of the material.

Looks like wood, feels like wood

If sunlight shines through the glass roof in Osnabrück, the decks heatup. Wellness for barefoot surfers. And whoever looks closely can seethe fine sheen of real wood’s patina.

Being right next to water is a real challenge for wood. The wood becomes saturated with spray water and swells up. Tears develop, microorganisms take hold and create even more areas for water to permeate the material. On dry days it is likely for people walking barefoot to get splinters. But not with Naturinform’s decks. The material can neither tear nor splinter.

Because of its water repellant characteristics, Naturinform’s wood composite is not only extremely suitable for damp locations, but is also very simple to clean. All you need do is spray the decks with water, tougher stains can be removed easily using a high pressure cleaner. Because the polymer makes the wooden fibres much more robust against mechanical strain than normal wood.

Colours, but tailormade, please

The decks were already cut to size by the processing company Holzbau Steinemann from Neuenkirchen and brought to the site ready to be fitted: There is a pattern of anthracite-coloured triangles in the grey tinted areas. For this, grey and anthracite-coloured decks had to be cut at a slant and fitted to each other exactly and be matched to the next deck so precisely that the pattern looks like it was painted on using a template.

Just like nature

Naturinform’s ‚Robust‘ was used. This deck type combines loadability with an elegant wooden look. The surface has an individual grain and is slightly brushed. The decks can be fitted without any visible bracketing and thanks to their thickness of 21 millimetres are also especially suitable for use in commercial areas.

Completely enviromentally friendly

Naturinform produces all decks strictly ecologically. No trees are felled for them. Only wood flour from saw mills is used here. This is PEFC certified wood from ecologically farmed forestry, no tropical wood is contained. The glue’s organic component is environmentally friendly polyethylene. In contrast to standard wood, Naturinform’s decks need no environmentally harming chemicals for maintenance, and no fungicides or pesticides are used during production. Additionally, the patio decks can be recycled 100 % and can be returned to the plant in Bavarian Redwitz for that purpose.

Download: Press release
Product information: Robust