Sports City Stadium

Sports City Stadium has been designed as a “field” of simple elements hoisted into the air to provoke a sense of dynamic display as well as referencing back to traditional nomadic structures. The stadium is defined by a percolated ring through which one identifies with its concourses so that the atmosphere of the complex is both clear and intriguing: with things glimpsed as well as solidly present. The form of the surface across the podium is informed by the symbolic rise atop the stadium bowl to the edges of the skirt which stretch out from the centre, gently dissolving out into the wider context. In all directions, the vortex gyrates and rises. The petals that form its swirling canopy are light and carefree, they protect the public space below them and at the same time they enliven it. These elements retain a level of detail which allows them to be understood both as a part of a wider field, and as an individual element of beauty. By programming petals to produce particular shadow effects according to time of day and level of activity, the architecture can also appropriate the climate as a “building material”. By treating shadows in their gradations the petals can produce levels of transparency and diffusion that allows for control over not just the level of shade but the type of shade one wishes to achieve on an event by event basis. The configurability also applies to wind, whereby the manipulation of petals can respond to varying wind conditions. This flexibility allows for the petals to become markers, whereby they may become part of a strategic plan for managing large crowds by indicating routes, whether that be through a depression or ripple in the canopy above, or through lighting elements in individual petals. The myriad options for petal construction, and the materiality and density of these petals allows for varying views through the “forest” of support columns at differing densities and transparencies. The concourse is both an expression of the structure of the scheme, a reference back toward traditional construction and an innovative use of environmental and spatial conditions. “3d” holes follow a radius around structural members through the concourse, creating scoops through the façade, establishing a visual linkage from the podium to the interior world of the concourse. The surface that runs up the stadium façade and out over the podium, has a sound structural hierarchy, designed as a net made up from pairs of cable spanning, as a doubly-curved surface, in all directions between push-up and pull-down locations. It simulates the undulating, swirling shape that provides a dynamic movement to the otherwise expansive podium space.

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