Zaha Hadid Architects has been announced as the winner of the competition to design the new Hangzhou International Sports Centre. The project includes a 60,000-seat football stadium and practice pitches, a 19,000-seat indoor arena as well as an aquatics center with two 50-meter pools. The development is part of Hangzhou’s Future Science and Technology Cultural District and is well connected to the city’s expanding metro network.
The project is a response to the growing population of Hangzhou, which accommodates many of China’s largest technology companies. The sports center aims to provide a variety of facilities for both grassroots players and professional athletes. The compact design allows for the site to be transformed into open public spaces for the city, with parks and gathering, relaxation and recreation places organized along the riverbank.
The design of the football stadium, the largest venue within the center, is informed by the terracing of the tea farms specific to the area and is designed in accordance with FIFA international standards. The stadium’s façade opens toward the exterior with louvers sheltering terraces that host a variety of food and beverage outlets offering panoramic views across the city. 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 façade becomes transparent, connecting the public spaces beneath the stadium’s seating bowl with the city.
The indoor arena operates independently from the stadium and is designed for maximum operational flexibility. In addition to hosting sporting events, it can also welcome large music and cultural events. On the other side of the park, the aquatics center incorporates two 50-meter pools suitable for competitions, training, and teaching at all levels from beginner to elite swimmers and divers. By incorporating multiple-use programs, the complex hopes to be used year-round and to become a center for gathering for the nearby communities.