Architecture – With a population of nine million people and two professional football clubs, Xi’an will host the 2023 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup. The new Xi’an International Football Centre by Zaha Hadid Architects will welcome 60,000 football supporters of national and international matches as well as domestic league games, youth training academies, entertainment performances and cultural events.
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“China’s ancient capital and core of the Silk Road, Xi’an has a long history of welcoming visitors from around the world.” Explain at Zaha Hadid Architects. “In the global arena of football, the Xi’an International Football Centre continues this tradition and builds a lasting legacy of new civic spaces, sports and recreational facilities for the city.”
Located in Xi’an’s Fengdong New District and connected with the city’s expanding metro network, the stadium features open façades inviting the city into the heart of the building to enjoy its public spaces, recreation and dining facilities throughout the day.
The building will be surrounded by a series of shaded south-facing garden terraces with views over the city to Qing Mountain. The sweeping lines of the façade protect the stadium from northerly winds and convey the fluid forms of the roof that shelters the saddle-shaped seating bowl which maximizes the spectator seating provided at midfield.
The design employs an ultra-lightweight long span cable-net roof structure, resulting in a minimum load and material footprint that in turn reduces the stadium’s primary structure. Wide perimeter roof overhangs shelter facilities within the building’s envelope while the large, shaded, open-air terraces and public concourses incorporates extensive planting on all levels, providing comfortable conditions in Xi’an’s hot continental summer climate.
A translucent membrane over the seating is supported by the tensioned cable-net structure which protects spectators from inclement weather and direct sunlight. The structure allows the most amount of natural light to reach the playing surface, promoting the growth of grass on the pitch to provide playing conditions of the highest standard.
“Digital modelling has defined the geometry of the spectators’ seating bowl to optimize proximity and views to the field of play from all 60,000 seats, generating the most exciting atmosphere for football and ensuring an outstanding match experience for all players and spectators.”
All images: courtesy of Zaha Hadid Architects.
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