U Opinion | Architects’ Tea House – On Sustainable Utilization of Sports Buildings

2017-07-17 11:50:00

This article originally appeared in“Architects’ Tea House” Official Accounts


Participants (in order of speaking)


Zheng Fang

Associate Architect of Beijing Institute of Architectural Design

Yang zhou

Associate Architect of Beijing Institute of Architectural Design and Design Director of 9th Design Institute

Eugene Ji

Founder of UrbanTect Architecture and Planning Design

Yang Qiyong

General Manager of Beijing National Swimming Center Co., Ltd.

Wang Song

Ming Hui studio host


▲National Swimming Center-Water Cube


Origin of topic:

       There are three backgrounds for the sustainable utilization of sports buildings. The first one is the three utilizations, namely “long-term utilization, repeated utilization and comprehensive utilization”, put forward by Chinese President Xi Jinping for sports venues recently. The second one is about the Winter Olympics Games. The venues for winter sports events in Beijing are basically those built for 2008 Beijing Olympics Games, such as Water Cube, National Indoor Stadium, and Wukesong Stadium. The Winter Olympics Games is also a representative of sustainable utilization of sports venues in Beijing. The third one is Water Cube where we have the tea party here today. In the past, it was used for 2008 Beijing Olympics Games, APEC, premiere of the movie Star War as well as some performances. In the future, it will be used for curling competitions in the Winter Olympics Games, being an ice cube. It is really a world-class innovation as well as a typical contribution of Chinese sports venues for the industry worldwide. They are quite different from overseas sports undertakings and industry development backgrounds. Based on the conditions of worldwide Olympics venues after competitions, China has made pioneering successes in terms of post-games utilization. 


▲ UrbanTect Architecture and Planning Design Consultants, Mr. Eugene Ji


     Olympic Games are not only an issue of buildings but also that of planning. Large-scale lands for sports have their own problems, and surrounding areas are affected as well. For example, the housing prices of the housing estates around Sydney Olympic Center failed to go up. Besides single functions, large-scale sports architectural complex is one reason as well. Like a city being separated by a large-scale mass and the previous urban connection was continuous while a big hole was dug here. In addition, the use ratio of single sports buildings is lower. 

▲Sydney Olympic Park (photo from Internet)


      Chinese sports building are successful, in particular Beijing-based Olympic buildings that are landmarks. Although some people think that the structure of the National Stadium is unreasonable and the Water Cube has acoustics problems, the two venues do have some defects from a technical perspective. However, they are really attractive in terms of actual effects. Compare them with Sydney-based Olympic venues, most designs are rational and most techniques are mature, but they cannot be powerful landmark architectures. We object to landmark buildings sometimes, but they are necessary sometimes for they not only have long-term vitality but also prosper surrounding areas.

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