AFL Architects have been commissioned for the design of major new sports and leisure facilities for the city of Rizhao in Eastern China.
The designs, for three sites across the city, will be part of a larger masterplan, encompassing a 12,000 capacity stadium, an esports arena, a multi-sport venue, and hotel/retail developments.
Plans also include academy accommodation, community spaces, and professional training facilities.
Working directly with a commercial JV client and partnering with the Kehua Sport organisation, this will be AFL’s third commission with Kehua Sport and sixth in the country.
The esport arena will be the first in the region, with approximately 3,000 – 4,000 capacity, and will be AFL’s first esport arena.
Esports is the fastest growing sport across much of the world. Its diverse range of games and inclusive nature creates a unique set of challenges, as does the game’s rapid growth in China.
Phil Osborne, director, AFL Architects, said:
We are thrilled to further develop our relationship with Kehua Sport on this major new series of sports facilities. The esports arena in particular is an exciting and challenging commission. Esports fans demand the same exceptional atmosphere as those following any sport, and this commission follows intensive research and development by our architects to design bespoke arenas for this growing market.
The practice has previously designed the Kunming Campus for Kehua Sport, an elite Premier League training ground for European teams when touring the country.
This continual expansion into China also comes at a critical point for the practice, following its delivery of the World Cup final stadium for FIFA 2022 Qatar and its continuing international work in the Middle East, Turkey and Ireland.
Designs for the masterplan have started immediately, with a view to site works commencing in Spring 2020.