Zaha Hadid Architects' sports center shoots for sustainable design
Following an international architecture competition, a proposal from Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA) has been selected for a huge new sports complex in Hangzhou, China. The ambitious project will feature a focus on sustainable design and be centered around an eye-catching soccer stadium with a louvered facade.
The Hangzhou International Sports Centre's main soccer stadium will have a capacity of 60,000 seats. Elsewhere, the complex will also include a 19,000-seat multipurpose indoor arena and an aquatics center with two large swimming pools. The three areas will be connected by a podium with shared facilities and the whole complex has a characteristically ZHA futuristic curvy design that the firm says is influenced by the terraced tea farms on Hangzhou’s hillsides.
"Designed to FIFA's [soccer's international governing body] standards, the stadium's seating bowl is configured to bring spectators as close as possible to the field of play and ensure excellent, unrestricted views from every seat; creating an intense matchday atmosphere for players on the pitch and fans seated throughout the stadium," explained ZHA. "These programmatic requirements define geometries that are expressed as undulations within the louvered facade.
"The stadium's louvered facade blurs the boundary between interior and exterior. The louvers' materiality and detailing give the stadium a stratified, geological appearance of solidity when viewed from nearby. When viewed from a distance, the louvered facade becomes transparent, connecting the public spaces beneath the stadium's seating bowl with the city."
The International Sports Centre will mitigate its sizable carbon footprint with green design. The louvered facade will help the soccer stadium maintain a comfortable temperature using natural ventilation, while detailed analysis has determined their location and shape. Solar panels will reduce grid-based power needs and energy efficient heat exchange and recovery systems will also be installed.
The center's extensive landscaping will establish new wetlands along an adjacent riverbank to improve local drainage facilities. They will be part of a larger system to collect rainwater and reuse greywater, making use of aquatic flora and fauna native to the region to naturally remove contaminants from the water. ZHA also says it will maximize the use of recycled and recyclable materials used during construction.
We've no word yet on when the International Sports Centre will be complete, though ZHA confirms it is going ahead. The firm has plenty of experience with stadiums and previously designed a soccer stadium in China that's currently under construction, and yet another in Qatar that will soon host the FIFA World Cup soccer tournament, plus a wooden soccer stadium in the UK.
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