Aluminium Louvres and a membrane roof

German architecture group von Gerkan, Marg, und Partner (GMP) has constructed a 41,000-seat stadium on the tropical island of Hainan in China.
24 May, 2019
The grandstand of the building is sheltered by the crescent-shaped membrane roof and aluminium louvres. According to the architects, the sports complex is a part of the first stage of a district-wide urban regeneration project in Hainan and is claimed to be the "first major sports venue".
Situated close to the coast, Wuyuanhe Stadium will become a continuation of terrane as it is shaped like ocean waves. The effect is supported by seating color, starting from bright blue and ending with deep navy where the auditorium hides behind the roof. The building features a 400-metre running track, lounge areas, and a top floor walkway with panoramic views of the sea.

The stadium's visor-like roof with an illuminated band that highlights the central part, sweeps upwards towards the west in a shape that maximizes views from the grandstand out towards the ocean.
Images: Dezeen
Due to this creative architectural solution, various parts of the building differ in levels. The raised, western section comprises of two tiers of seating, along with facilities for athletes and press. The lower, eastern side houses only one tier of seating.

Wuyuanhe Stadium itself is situated on a raised platform, with a glazed strip around the base providing ground level access and large stairways leading to the upper level.

Images: Dezeen
"Four streamlined ramps built along the building's diagonal axes draw spectators into the stadium in a continuation of the flowing structures of the natural environment," said the architecture practice.

Given the island's extreme weather conditions, the stadium needed to shade intense sunlight and also withstand heavy rains. That is why the designers chose the most modern materials for the outer cladding. Rings of silver-white anodized aluminium louvres cover the stadium's skin, which not only looks fascinating but also bears a practical meaning. Such approach works as a means of natural ventilation. Apart from that, the structure gives a way to glimpses to the stairwells behind, casting dramatic patterns of light.

Images: Dezeen
One more interesting structural feature of the building is its translucent membrane roof that shields the visitors. Designed in collaboration with Schlaich Bergermann Partners, this part of the stadium is supported by two external compression rings and an internal tension ring.

The scale of the project impresses. So does the pace of its construction. The process started back in in March of 2017 and was complete just 13 months later. The total cost is 1.06 billion youan (or $157m). The price includes all work delivered within the 28 hectares, including smaller training stadium, vast ramps welcoming visitors from four directions and extensive parking.
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