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UNStudio wins design for China football stadium

October 5, 2009
Image: UNStudio

Image: UNStudio

Just in: Ben van Berkel’s design has won the limited competition for a 40,000 spectator football stadium for the most successful club in the Chinese Super League: Dalian Shide FC. The stadium will be built in the club’s hometown of the city of Dalian, on the southern tip of Liaodong peninsula in Northeast China.

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According to Ben van Berkel, “The design of the Dalian Football Stadium is inspired by the classic Chinese football, which was made by layering coloured bamboo. For the stadium design we appropriated this effect to generate a double-layered roof structure. This structure operates as a double concourse enclosure, encircling the tribunes. Splits and openings in between broad bands of the lattice structure enable views from the outside in and from the inside out.”

Image: UNStudio

Berkel continues, “A key feature of the Dalian Stadium is the proximity of the spectators to the pitch, thereby ensuring the best views from the tribunes and creating a true sense of engagement. As in theatre design specific views and focal points are required. In the Dalian stadium, we envisioned the playing field as the stage. A two tier seating system and curved outlines optimise the corners of the tribunes and allow the spectators to be as close as possible to the playing field.”

“With a population of 5.7 million Dalian is the largest port in Northeast China and forms an important centre of trade, industry and tourism. In 1984, the State Council approved Dalian as a coastal open city during China’s opening up to the West. In the mid-90s Dalian began an ambitious undertaking to become a world-class port city on the level of Rotterdam, and a host to international events. Radical city planning policies were implemented, improving the aesthetic appearance of the city and eventually transforming the centre of Dalian with architectural styles reminiscent of the Mediterranean and Sweden, thereby making it a unique city in China.
UNStudio’s design for the Dalian Football Stadium reacts to this setting by orientating the building in order to maximise both the use of existing transport modes and the views of the surrounding sea and mountains, whilst providing a unique sporting venue for the population of the Dalian.”

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