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BLUA has designed a new Civic Sports Centre for Hangzhou to bring a strong sporting presence to the city

BLUA (Bin Lu Architecture) have completed an urban concept design for what will be the Hangzhou Civic Sports Centre, heavily inspired by the Olympics. This rather topically-influenced project will be located at the west side of Hangzhou new city, 2.6km to the CBD centre.

Bin Lu said, "Since the first rays of the Olympic flame lit by the sunshine of Mount Olympus, the mountain has been deeply connected with sports. Hangzhou is a hilly city. Mountain climbing always becomes a popular out-door game for people there. The government carries out mass sports activities to promote national fitness programme."

The facility will have a total built area of 15,500 square meters, with the above- ground floor area measuring 46,700 square meters. The southwest corner will house the entrance for the planned Metro Line, amongst densely populated residential districts. To the north, a primary school, adjacent to Qian Jiang River. The site is a prime example of urban-meets-nature, so BLUA’s decision to construct a sports complex there is one which wants to connect the natural and the urban life of the city.

The project will create an urban plaza as well as creating a large-scale commercial facility, which are not in abundance within the area. It’s position amid well-used public transport means that the complex will have a strong public presence, as it will be easily reached by everyone in the city. The site will be rich in public retail such as gift shops, bookstores and cafes, again inviting large levels of the people of Hangzhou to visit the centre.

The building will be divided into two segments: to ‘active’ and ‘inactive’ areas. Activities which take place on the lower part of the tower and the podium will house the “active” area, and the remainder of the 42 meter-high tower will comprise the “inactive”. The recessed plaza will be shaded by a cantilevered roof and will feature generous amounts of vegetation. Nature will meet water with the swimming pool situated on the first floor, which will cool the air based on laws of natural convection and evaporative cooling.

The recreation centre is connected by the two towers on the south-west and north-east. It is ordered by passageways which connect the sides of the site together into a network. Skylights provide daylight the interior spaces and offer views of people playing sports outside. The façade is encased in a multi-layered skin that is embedded with crystal patterns made from 3D cold laminated film, ETFE membrane and honeycomb glass.

BLUA’s philosophy has always been to merge biology, science and art in to architecture to create his projects. Bin Lu, originally from Hangzhou, studied under Zaha Hadid at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna prior to his San Francisco Bay Bridge project, which earned him recognition for being the first architect to use alageTech on the façade of a building.
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