Guangzhou Gymnasium

The Guangzhou Gymnasium is one of the main facilities being used for the 9th National Games of the Republic of China in 2001. The complex is sure to become one of the focal points of life in Guangzhou, attracting residents and non-residents alike in a city that is in the midst of a cultural and economic boom. The sports center was designed to form a transition between the cityscape (including the new urban zone to be developed after the closure of the airport) and the surrounding protected landscape of the Baiyun hills. A provision for modular expansion has been built into the complex. Each of the three dome-shaped structures is made of a concrete base and a lightweight steel structure clad in semi-transparent panels that afford a natural uniform lighting. At night, the interior lighting illuminates the roof, which seen from outside creates an unreallooking silhouette that stands out against the background of the Baiyun Hills. The main stadium for sports competitions is in the form of an arena. Spectators walk down to the bleachers from the entrances situated at ground level. The base of the whole complex is set slightly below ground level. The main public entrance is located opposite the entrance reserved for the athletes and the VIPs. The latter is directly connected to the sports village and the training centre. The complex is part of an 18 hectare park, where public facilities for outside activities are set amidst the greenery.urgent nowadays of the environment and natural resources respect.
Location: Guangzhou - China - North East to the International Airport and Natural Park.
Use: One of the major equipments for the 9-th National Games of the Republic of China, those will take place in Guangzhou in 2001.
Program: Three shell-shaped buildings with white-coloured roofs, with a strong link between each other containing all the equipments : The three buildings have the following functions:
– The main covered stadium which can adopt a variety of configurations: athletics (6,500 seats), gymnastics, team sports, tennis, pingpong (10,000 seat). It can also be used for different types of entertainment.
– The training hall which includes a big hall, an Olympic-size pool and a series of rooms designed for special sports.
– The public sports center. In addition to this complex covering 100,000 sq. m, there are parking lots, an office building, a restaurant and an athlete’s village, designed by another group of architects.
Surface: 100 000 square meters built on 8 hectares. The project ( athletic village, public park ...)is located in a 18 hectares natural park. Guangzhou Gymnasium, which will be used for the first time for the Ninth China Athletic and Sports Competition, is equipped with all the facilities needed for the organization of a major sports competition. It has a covered multisport stadium seating up to 13,000, training and warm-up rooms, a pool, a smaller center for leisure sports, a restaurant, locker rooms, a press center, and a control laboratory. The site of the sports complex – big enough to form a real park – is situated at the foot of the Baiyun hills, a protected landscape where building is not permitted and which constitutes an open space in the otherwise very dense city of Canton. We wanted the hills to remain the key element of this project, so we housed the different facilities in three buildings of different sizes but similar in shape, which are articulated with one another in an organic way to echo the curves of the hills. We positioned the outside ceremonial area, delimited by the buildings and the trees, at the spot which affords the loveliest view of one of the valleys that cuts through the hills. The Canton city government brought several improvements to the initial project after the competition phase in deciding to move a new planned road system elsewhere, not to build a hotel on the site and to study the possibility of a connecting road between the gymnasium park and a new park situated at the foot of the hills. Each of the elements that constitutes the sports complex has a semi-transparent roof designed to ensure during the day quality uniform lighting, perfect for television broadcasting, and to stand out at night like a great light signal, visible from the road and the hills. The supporting frames resemble the one in Hall F, Terminal 2 of Charles-de-Gaulle airport in Paris, but here the maximal span of 160 meters is much greater. Once again, the upper ridge serves as a technical space where the cross beams can be joined in such a way that the framework remains a lightweight structure which, together with the semi-transparent roof, forms the luminousmaterial which has been the object of so much of my work. 


43 photos and 3 drawings

Building Activity

  • Nadezhda Nikolova
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