Zaha Hadid Architects design 60,000-seat Xi’an International Football stadium

Designed by London-based ZHA, the stunning saddle-shaped stadium with fluid geometries will play host to the 2023 Asian Football Confederation Asian Cup in China.

by STIRworld Published on : Aug 22, 2020

Zaha Hadid Architects has revealed the design plan for Xi’an International Football Center, a 60,000-seat stadium that will entertain national and international tournaments in the coming years. The stadium in Xi’an, China will host the 2023 Asian Football Confederation Asian Cup, along with several other domestic leagues, entertainment performances, cultural celebrations and youth training academies.

The stadium holds space for 60,000 football fans | Xi’an International Football Center | Zaha Hadid Architects | STIRworld
The stadium holds space for 60,000 football fans Image: Courtesy of Zaha Hadid Architects

Positioned along Xi’an’s expanding metro network and within the city’s orthogonal urban framework, the stadium’s open facades reach out to the neighbouring business district with public spaces, recreation and dining facilities.

Public terraces and open-air facilities invite the public to experience the space| Xi’an International Football Center | Zaha Hadid Architects | STIRworld
Public terraces and open-air facilities invite the public to experience the space Image: Courtesy of Zaha Hadid Architects

The stadium has been designed carefully to sustain optimum conditions for football, taking its "legacy mode of operations" as the root of the design. The stadium's form resembles a saddle, the shape of which has accurately been calculated to maximise the spectator seating provided at midfield. The digitally generated geometry of the stadium optimises views and proximity to the playing field from all 60,000 seats, creating an unmatchable experience for football fans across the world.

A digitally designed saddle shape has been generated for this project | Xi’an International Football Center | Zaha Hadid Architects | STIRworld
A digitally designed saddle shape has been generated for this project Image: Courtesy of Zaha Hadid Architects

ZHA’s trademark fluid geometries majorly reflect in the stadium’s roof, making the structure stand out in its context. Apart from the interiors, wide roof overhangs shade the green open-air terraces and public lounges as well, supporting pleasant conditions in Xi’an’s hot continental summer climate.

Xi’an International Football Center is designed to have a rich public character | Xi’an International Football Center | Zaha Hadid Architects | STIRworld
Xi’an International Football Center is designed to have a rich public character Image: Courtesy of Zaha Hadid Architects

A set of shaded south-facing gardens serve visitors premium views over the city into Qing Mountain, in addition to the matches taking place at the stadium. The facade features broad strokes that guard the structure from the northerly winds.

Broad, fluid strokes cover the intriguing facade  | Xi’an International Football Center | Zaha Hadid Architects | STIRworld
Broad, fluid strokes cover the intriguing facade Image: Courtesy of Zaha Hadid Architects

An ultra-lightweight long span cable-net roof rests on the structure, the reduced material footprint bearing minimum load on the framework. Held by the tensioned cable-net structure, a translucent membrane protects spectators from harsh weather and immediate sunlight without compromising on ample daylight reaching the grass on the field.

The roof offers optimum protection to spectators from the harsh climate | Xi’an International Football Center | Zaha Hadid Architects | STIRworld
The roof offers optimum protection to spectators from the harsh climate Image: Courtesy of Zaha Hadid Architects

The new civic spaces, recreational facilities and sports events that the stadium brings will activate the urban context and set a new standard for international stadiums. With Xi’an International Football Center, the ancient capital of China will relive its history of being a welcoming host to foreign visitors.

(Text by Ankitha Gattupalli, intern at stirworld.com)

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