Zaha Hadid Architects unveils Hangzhou International Sports Center

A 60,000-seat football stadium is one of the features of the terraced Hangzhou International Sports Center designed by Zaha Hadid Architects in eastern China.

Covering 26.39 hectares, the giant sports facility in Hangzhou will include three buildings, which will also house a 19,000-seat indoor arena, a water sports center and practice areas.

Aerial view of Hangzhou International Sports Center
Zaha Hadid Architects unveiled the Hangzhou International Sports Center. Render is from Plomp

The Hangzhou International Sports Center was designed by Zaha Hadid Architects for the city’s Future Science and Technology Cultural District. The expected completion date is not yet known.

It was commissioned by the Cultural District Management Committee to serve the city’s growing population and will be available to both amateur and professional athletes.

The stadium designed by Zaha Hadid Architects next to the river
The giant sports venue in Hangzhou will have “striped” edges

“Accommodating Hangzhou’s growing population, the design of the International Sports Center offers a variety of facilities for both amateur and professional athletes,” said Zaha Hadid Architects.

“Unlike the one-way programs of most major stadiums, which only welcome visitors on match days and create a barrier to the city’s urban fabric when not in use, Hangzhou International Sports offers a wide range of sports, recreation and leisure facilities Centre, In addition to the public squares and riverside park, ensure that the center is a popular meeting place for its community every day and evening.”

Sport stadium in China
It is divided into three buildings

Externally, the three venues have rounded shapes and are unified by their “striped” edges and a terraced podium that winds between them.

These forms were designed by Zaha Hadid Architects as a nod to the terraced tea plantations on the hills surrounding Hangzhou.

Image of the courtyard of Hangzhou International Sports Center
Its multi-layered facade is modeled on tea farms

The venues aim to be as compact as possible to ensure that nearly half of the dedicated site is available for conversion into new public spaces.

This includes a new riverfront area, in addition to public parks and plazas with access to the city’s subway network. The landscaping will also include creating wetlands along the banks of the river, which will be part of the district’s drainage network.

External presentation of the Hangzhou International Sports Center
A tiered podium will connect the three buildings. Render is from Plomp

The largest venue of the Hangzhou International Sports Center will be the soccer stadium, which will be positioned on the east side of the complex overlooking the city.

It will be 135,000 square meters and seat 60,000 spectators. According to Zaha Hadid Architects, the stadium’s shape will “bring the spectators as close to the pitch as possible”.

Interior of the Chinese Sports Center designed by Zaha Hadid Architects
The project is aimed at both amateur and professional athletes. Render is from Attach

The shape of the seating creates waves in the stadium’s facade, which is lined with louvers behind which are sun-shaded food stands.

These louvers were also designed by Zaha Hadid Architects to add to the multi-layered appearance of the complex while allowing passers-by to see inside – challenging the usual “solid facades” of traditional sports stadiums.

Representation of the Hangzhou International Sports Center at night
Hangzhou International Sports Center is designed for the city’s cultural district

“The stadium’s louvered facade blurs the line between inside and outside,” the studio said.

“Viewed from a distance, the louvered façade becomes transparent and connects the public spaces beneath the stadium’s seating shell with the city.”

Stadium at Hangzhou International Sports Center
The largest venue will be the open-air stadium. The rendering comes from BrickVisual

On the west and south sides of the complex are the two smaller venues, housing the indoor arena and watersports center.

At 74,000 square meters, the indoor arena will have a capacity of 19,000 and will be flexible to adapt to various events, from spectator sports to music concerts.

Meanwhile, the water sports center will be 15,000 square meters and contain two 50 meter deep pools designed for everything from lessons for local school children to professional competitions. This venue can accommodate up to 800 spectators.

Woven between the venues, the 45,000 square meter podium will complete the project with ancillary facilities as well as a courtyard and terraces.

These are shared between the venues and include everything from locker rooms and training halls to shops, restaurants and offices overlooking the terraces.

Aerial view of Hangzhou International Sports Center by Zaha Hadid Architects
A new waterfront park is being created. The rendering comes from BrickVisual

According to Zaha Hadid Architects, the project will use recycled and recyclable materials.

Each venue will use a hybrid ventilation system as well as geothermal heat pumps and photovoltaic panels to harvest solar energy.

Elsewhere in China, Zaha Hadid Architects are designing the striped extension of an exhibition center in Beijing and two supertall skyscrapers connected by planted terraces in Shenzhen.

The studio, which is the eponymous studio of the late architect Zaha Hadid, also recently completed the dune-like Beeah Headquarters in Sharjah.

Animation is by Atchain and renderings are by Proloog unless otherwise noted.

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