Inspired by the phenomenon of the Olympic Games and their historical origins in the rocky landscape of Ancient Greece, the architects at BLUA designed their Civic Sports Center as a large artificial mountain. With its cascading sports fields and a crystalline façade, the “sports mountain” will be a new icon for the city of Hangzhou, China.
Located near the Qian Jiang River, the building site connects the natural and urban fabric of the city. The role of the Civic Sports Center will be to activate an otherwise dormant part of the city by offering commercial content concentrated around a spacious public plaza.
According to the degree of accessibility, the building is roughly divided into two segments: activities located on the lower part of the tower and the podium constitute the “active” area, leaving the rest of the 42 meter-high tower relatively “inactive”. The sunken plaza is pleasantly shaded by a cantilevered roof and enriched by luscious vegetation. With the swimming pool situated on the first floor, the combination of plant-life and water features cools the air based on principles of natural convection and evaporative cooling. Surrounded by public amenities such as gift shops, bookstores and cafes, this area is designed to be an urban oasis for the population of Hangzhou.
The entire structure is enveloped with a multi-layered skin that is embedded with crystal patterns and made from 3D cold laminated film, ETFE membrane and honeycomb glass. Balancing the flat appearance of the façade and the playfulness of the membrane bubble “windows”, the building is in constant state of flux.