“Eight stadiums constructed for the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games”

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After a one-year delay due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the highly anticipated 19th Asian Games is finally set to begin in Hangzhou on Saturday. To accommodate this major sporting event, the host city and five other cities in Zhejiang province have constructed eight impressive stadiums specifically for the tournament. In this article, we will highlight the key features and designs of these new stadiums in preparation for the Asian Games.

Hangzhou Olympic Sports Center Main Stadium, designed by NBBJ and CCDI, is a stunning 80,000-seat stadium that draws inspiration from the lotus flowers found in the city’s West Lake, a UNESCO World Heritage site. The stadium is encompassed by 56 modular petal structures, serving as exterior walls and the roof. The site also features a retractable-roof arena with 10,000 seats, aquatic and cultural centers, retail spaces, and connections to public transportation. As the main stadium, it will host the opening and closing ceremonies of the Hangzhou Asian Games.

The Natatorium of the Hangzhou Olympic Sports Center, designed by Hu Yue Studio of Beijing Institute of Architectural Design Group, is located adjacent to the main stadium. This aquatics center consists of an 18,000-seat sports arena and a 6,000-seat natatorium. The building’s roof is adorned with silver-white aluminum alloy scales, resembling a frozen dragon in motion. LED pixels installed at the corners of the scales illuminate the entire building surface. The natatorium will host various events such as basketball, swimming, diving, and synchronised swimming during the Hangzhou Asian Games.

Designed by Archi-Tectonics, the Hybrid Stadium is a 5,000-seat venue inspired by the geometric shape of the Cong, an ancient Chinese jade-stone artifact. The stadium combines an arena and amphitheater-style seating with intersecting ellipsoids, creating an oblong bowl. The facade of the intersecting ellipses features unique textures, with one clad in brass shingles and the other in steel clad planar glass. The inner bowl is entirely clad in bamboo. After the Asian Games, the stadium will be repurposed into a performing arts center.

Another stadium by Archi-Tectonics is the Field Hockey Stadium, a 5,000-seat venue distinguished by a 125-meter free-span wing roof that provides shade for the lobby, stands, and the oval grass field. The stadium’s roof, inspired by traditional Meinong oil paper and bamboo umbrellas, spans the entire distance with a curving beam holding it together while keeping the mesh in tension. Apart from field hockey, the stadium will host outdoor film screenings, concerts, and other events during the games.

The Baseball and Softball Sports Cultural Center, designed by the Architectural Design & Research Institute of Zhejiang University, Shaoxing, features a series of floating roofs known as the “wing cloud.” The roofs are supported by slender steel columns and use curved perforated aluminum plates on the facade, reminiscent of traditional Chinese cultural symbols and the canals of the Shaoxing water town. This is the largest new venue built for the Hangzhou Asian Games and serves as the largest baseball and softball sports center in China.

The Fuyang Yinhu Sports Center, designed by the Architectural Design & Research Institute of Zhejiang University, is defined by multi-section sloping roofs that host shooting, archery, and modern pentathlon events during the Asian Games. The elevated stadium, resembling terraced mountains, features more than 37,000 unit modules on the facade, creating a unique pixelated pattern inspired by the classic Chinese painting “Dwelling in the Fuchun Mountains.”

The Shaoxing Olympic Sports Centre, designed by China Aviation Planning and Design Institute Group and the Architectural Design & Research Institute of Zhejiang University, combines an indoor stadium and an exhibition center. The flowing silver-grey architecture rests on an elevated platform, with circular lines forming ribbons that wrap around the building. This design captures the ripple effect of the adjacent river and the shells of river mussels found in Shaoxing’s waterways. The stadium will host basketball games during the Asian Games.

Last but not least is the Tonglu Equestrian Centre, designed by Populous and Tongji Architectural Design Group. This comprehensive equestrian facility includes a main arena, weatherproof training hall, stable area, track, and seats for 3,104 spectators. The main arena’s outline resembles the Chinese character for “horse,” while the curvilinear forms respond to the surrounding natural landscape. Developed in collaboration with Populous, this is China’s only permanent venue capable of hosting equestrian events.

With the completion of these state-of-the-art stadiums, Hangzhou and the other host cities in Zhejiang province are fully prepared to welcome athletes and spectators from around Asia for the 19th Asian Games. These architectural marvels not only provide exceptional venues for sporting events but also leave lasting legacies for their respective cities, serving as cultural symbols and adaptable spaces for future activities.

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