Stadium Spotlight: Design Proposal — Dalian Shide, the Organic Stadium
Stadium Name: Dalian Shide Stadium
Location: Dalian Liaoning, China
Team: Dalian Shide F.C., China
Architects: NBBJ Architects (US)
Dalian Shide F.C., founded in 1983, play in the Chinese Super League, currently at 30,776 capacity Jinzhou Stadium — a stadium that was only itself built in 1997. But such is the pace of change in China that Dalian Shide will soon be playing in a new venue. UN Studio won the contest (see their “bamboo stadium” design here), but it’s worth looking at a much more innovative design entered for the stadium by NBBJ Architects out of L.A.
Touted as the “Garden Stadium”, the architects say its carbon footprint will be “minimal”. Its eco-friendliness includes water recycling, renewable energy and “green walls” — clad with living plants. NBBJ calls it an “organic stadium”, using reclaimed land folded in half around the seating bowl in the stadium, like so:
The roof is perhaps the strangest part of the design. The architects say “The roof is a flexible system of cables and fabric to protect the fans from the elements, beautiful and unique, fluttering overhead,” but it’s rather unclear what elements such a flexible roof would protect fans from (it sure doesn’t look water-proof) — and might all that fluttering not be rather distracting during a game?
The walls of the stadium “contain all of the vital systems of the building: the structure for the roof, the VIP suites, the toilets and concessions stands, the mechanical spaces, and the ticket booths.” These are touted as a key part of the sustainable structure, as they “Provide building insulation, reduces energy use, reduces heat island effect, filters air pollution, reduces green house gases, softens the typical hard edge of a stadium.”
As you can see, the stadium is essentially two-sided: the architects say that opening the seating bowl to the city of Dalian “not only creates a more integrated experience for those seated in the bowl and walking on the concourses, but it also allows a connection to the site and city surrounding the stadium, allowing the local community to be a part of the event.” How that might work in practice, of course, is a different story (anyone else have visions of the stadium being trampled down by herds of hooligans at a future World Cup? No?)
Note: M below corrected the original version of this article, by noting UN Studio had now won the design contest. We had missed that important fact!