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MVRDV wins Xili sports centre competition

MVRDV together with Zhubo Architecture Design have won the architectural competition for the Xili Sports and Cultural Centre in China, the Shenzhen Nanshan Government announced.

The project will bring together a wide range of activities in the new 105,000m2 centre, which includes a theatre, a basketball and badminton arena, a multifunctional arena and a swimming pool.

The centre consists of a 20,000m2 theatre-amphitheatre, 15,000m2 Basketball-Badminton arena, 10,000m2 multifunctional arena and 6,000m2 swimming pool, presenting a dynamic public space with multiple layers.

A special elevated running track is the signature element of the complex as it connects, weaves in and out of all areas.

It also invites people to go for an exciting run around the complex, relax and socialise both inside and outside.

The ‘multifunctional arena’ is a hive of different sports activities. Each level has a certain theme, with the running track looping through and around the courts. Volleyball, table tennis, a general sports hall and a small soccer field on top complete this area.

The basketball court is above the main venue where big matches will be held. From bottom up, there is a plaza level with lobby, and the service levels, containing all changing rooms, next to the main hall. Above this is a second basketball venue surrounded by a mezzanine for badminton, fitness spaces, and a sports bar.

Finally, the pool building is a compact area lifted up one floor from the plaza level. Below the pools are service spaces, dressing rooms and the location of the wellness areas.

MVRDV founding partner Jacob van Rijs said:

There are many of these types of buildings being built in Shenzhen in a short time, which is an amazing phenomenon in itself. We wanted to combine a large-scale sports stadium with a social aspect connecting it with the community. This was achieved by arranging different areas on the site around a new diagonal (green) bridge linking the Chaguang metro station in the south, with the Tanglan mountains in the north, making this centre a stage for different users – nature, sports, and culture.

Shenzhen is the fastest developing urban region in China, transforming from production to a more knowledge-driven economy. These new sports centres fit into these developments focusing on a better quality of life.

The city’s boom as an economic powerhouse has given rise to high-density usage, with stadium-sized sports arenas to match. There is now a need for a more human-centred approach, the challenge was to go from bigness to compression through understanding urbanism, MVRDV said.

Xili Sports and Cultural Centre will be MVRDV’s first project under construction in Shenzhen, starting in 2017.

Image courtesy MVRDV