Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA) has won the design competition for China’s new Hangzhou International Sports Center, which will include a soccer stadium and training pitches, as well as an indoor arena and an aquatic center with two 50-meter pools. Located in Hangzhou’s future science and technology cultural district, the structure will also host a riverside park and public squares, with direct access to lines 3 and 5 of the city’s expanding metro network.
Hangzhou is home to some of China’s largest technology companies and is one of the world’s leading e-commerce centers. Conditions that have led to significant growth in the resident population in recent years, particularly IT professionals and entrepreneurs from inland regions. Recently unveiled by Zaha Hadid Architects, the Hangzhou International Sports Center is designed to meet the needs of new citizens and the growing demand for additional services and meeting places for residents. The largest site in the complex will be the soccer stadium, located on the eastern side and offering a view of the city. It will cover 135,000 m² and accommodate 60,000 fans. The 74,000 m² indoor arena will have a capacity of 19,000 and will be suitable for a variety of events, from spectator sports to music concerts. The 15,000 m² aquatic center will feature two 50-meter pools, designed for everything from classes for local schoolchildren to professional competitions, and will accommodate up to 800 spectators. The three main structures will be linked by a 45,000 m² tiered podium, inspired by the tea-growing terraces typical of the hills surrounding Hangzhou, which will contain ancillary spaces and facilities common to the various sporting disciplines, as well as offices, stores, restaurants and cafés overlooking the courtyards and podium terraces. The stadium will also serve to reinforce the region’s landscape and geology, thanks to its slatted facade that gives it a layered, textured appearance. The Hangzhou International Sports Center will be an avant-garde facility, built to advanced sustainability criteria, combining technological systems (photovoltaic and rainwater harvesting) with biodiversity solutions and an approach focused on protecting the local environment. The project includes the creation of wetlands along the river banks, where local aquatic flora and fauna will naturally contribute to the filtration and drainage of rainwater and grey water.