Quzhou Sports Campus breaks ground
Works begins on otherworldly design
The Quzhou Sports Campus has broken ground, designed by MAD Architects to create an almost otherworldly landscape resembling mountains and volcanoes in the centre of the city. The concept takes its cue from the Chinese brush and ink style of painting called Shanshui, which translates as ‘mountain-water’ and depicts natural scenery in a flowing form. Lead designer Ma Yasong said: "We dream not only of creating an urban space about sports and ecology, but also turning it into a unique land art park for the world, establishing a relationship between the city’s heritage and history of Shanshui culture."
The challenge was to combine the central vision of a tranquil landscape with the practical needs of such a large-scale development. Spanning almost 700,000 sq m, the first and second phase have a total construction area of approximately 340,000 sq m, including a 30,000-seat stadium, 10,000-seat gymnasium, 2000-seat natatorium, national sports complex, outdoor sports venue, science & technology museum, hotels, youth centre and retail space. In order to house these facilities within serene surroundings, the designers sought to break away from traditional stadium design and the typical construction model of large square landmarks.
On entering the site through a dense forest of high-standing trees, the view suddenly opens up to a broad undulating landscape, with rolling hills forming the gymnasium, natatorium, and training centre. In the middle of park, a sunken lake reflects the mountains and the sky. Resembling a crater, the stadium is set within the ground, crowned by a translucent halo designed to resemble a floating cloud. Pathways meander over and through the architecture, encouraging people to walk around the park, run along the trails, or take a seat on the lawn to enjoy the scenery.
While describing the concept, the designers emphasised the importance of their artistic approach in creating a space that would inspire a deeper response than just an appreciation of environmentally-friendly features and user-friendly spaces. Ma Yansong stated: "The relationship between man and nature is not only about ecology and sustainability, but it is also about spirit and mood. This is the culture and philosophy that has long existed in the history of this land and needs to be applied in the development of our future cities."