We're excited to say that Shenzhen has not 1 but 2 new sports centers to show off this week as the 2011 Universiade Summer Games kick off. The Bao'an Stadium was inspired by the forests of Southern China and is surrounded by green, bamboo-like columns, which provide structural support. Like the Universiade Sports Center nearby, the Bao'an Stadium was designed by GMP Architekten with strong consideration for the efficient use of materials. During the international university competition, the 40,000 seat stadium will host football matches, and afterwards, it will be used for other athletics.
Located in the Bao’an District, the new stadium was designed as a perfect circle to fit within the urban space without any specific orientation. Access into the stadium can be gained from almost every direction and the structure fits snuggly in between another sports arena and a swimming pool. The design of the stadium was inspired by the bamboo forests of southern China, an aspect that is reflected in the facade. Large, green colored steel poles installed in varying angles create the exterior of the stadium and provide structural support for the roof membrane. The poles serve as a visual reminder of nature and filter daylight into the space but do not block a visual sight line from outside in or from inside out.
GMP Architekten paid particular attention to the efficient use of materials when designing and constructing the stadium’s roof. They selected a membrane roof because it was one of the most efficient ways to cover the seating areas across such a large span. The membrane roof is held up by 36 pairs of cables that are pretensioned by a circular double tension ring held above the pitch. The result of the membrane roof and the facade of the bamboo-like poles is that the stadium has a very open atmosphere. A flat podium around the stadium allows free circulation and easy access to the tiered seating inside looking down on the submerged field in the center.
Images ©Christian Gahl