Architecture – Forget the typically fortress-like stadiums built in urban areas around the world. The 30,000-seat Quzhou Stadium by MAD Architects breaks away from conventional sports architecture. Conceived as a piece of land art, the crater-like building is partly sunk into the ground and appears as a continuation of the surrounding landscape.
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The stadium is the central building of the 700,000-square-metre Quzhou Sports Park. The largest earth-sheltered complex in the world is currently under construction in Quzhou, a historic city surrounded by hills and forests 400 kilometers southwest of Shanghai. [Read more on Archipanic]
The undulations of the surrounding topography are carried through to a sloping facade. “The sinuous exterior profile reflects the mountain ridge within distant view of the site while its landscape evokes those of planets imagined by visionary science fiction authors.” MAD Architects told Archipanic. Visitors can climb it like a green hill even when the stadium is closed.
Quzhou Stadium is crowned by an overhanging structure hovering gently above the landscape like a halo. Visitors approach the submerged building by walking through the canopy from one of its eight entrances, all of which feature complex double-curved surfaces “rippling overhead like ocean waves.” Sixty columns made from locally-produced concrete support the structure allowing the building to ‘float’ over the landscape while offering framed perspectives of the city from many points of view.
A rain-proof synthetic polymer PTFE membrane wrapped around the structure’s lower half improves the acoustic performance thanks to micro-perforations. The seating bowl in an array of shades of green undulates in relation to the surrounding landscape.
MAD Architects also designed large openings allowing natural light to penetrate underground facilities like the parking garage and the entry levels. Quzhou stadium “is engineered to absorb, store, and infiltrate rainwater to prevent excess rain and grant a substantial reduction in temperature fluctuations and energy consumption.”
Photography by CreatAR Images and Aogvision – ©MAD Architects.
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