MAD heads to the hills for massive undulating sports complex
Rising out of the landscape like a series of undulating hills, MAD Architects' Quzhou Sports Park is a large and ambitious project in China. The mixed-use development is now well underway, with the first phase due to be completed in 2021.
Originally unveiled back in 2018, Quzhou Sports Park is described by MAD as the "world's largest earth shelter building complex" and will feature a total built area of 390,000 sq m (roughly 4 million sq ft), which consists of a stadium, a gymnasium, outdoor training grounds, a science and technology museum, and more.
The overall design of the project is informed by Quzhou being a very forested area, and with its heavily landscaped facades, visitors will be able to walk on top of the buildings themselves, as well as through the winding trails in the extensive grounds, which include cycle paths. The first phase consists of just the stadium, which is pretty large in itself and will seat 30,000 people. It will be mostly hidden beneath the ground, save for a large concrete rain cover that's likened to a cloud by MAD.
"The buildings are embedded into the ground, whereby the facade disappears into the terrain, covered by greenery so that it becomes the landscape itself," says the firm. "While contours engrave curves into the surface, some function as pedestrian walkways. Thus, the sloping facade naturally serves as a new place for citizens to engage in exercise, and offers the opportunity to 'climb' the architecture."
The attempt to blend architecture and nature is a theme that defines much of MAD's body of work, such as the Chaoyang Park Plaza and Yabuli Conference Centre. Details were also recently unveiled on another major project in the works from the firm, the Lucas Museum in Los Angeles.
Source: MAD Architects