Pattern bags China Dalian Stadium project


China Dalian new stadium Image: Pattern Design

The international architecture studio Pattern Design’s concept has been selected as the winning scheme for the Suoyu Bay Stadium Competition, Dalian, China. The new venue will be able to pack in a crowd of 63,000 in the Chinese City of Dalian and will be potentially home to Dalian Pro FC who plays in the top-tier of Chinese football, the Chinese Super League.

Pattern will serve as the design guardian, peer reviewer and technical architect for the facility, which will host the matches for the AFC Asian Cup in 2023.

London-based Pattern Design is an architectural practice specializing in sports architecture, stadia and arenas. The master planning practice delivers innovative design projects around UK and the globe.

Dalian Professional Football Club is a professional Chinese football club based in Dalian, Liaoning, that participates in the Chinese Super League (the highest tier of professional football in China) under licence from the Chinese Football Association.

The 2023 AFC Asian Cup will be the 18th edition of the soccer spectacle, the quadrennial international men’s football championship of Asia organized by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC). It will be hosted by China between June 9th and July 9th, 2023.

The project will be delivered locally by the Harbin Institute of Technology and Dalian Architectural Research and Design Institute. British building company Buro Happold has been appointed as the structural, MEP and civil engineer.

The final design concepts for the stadium have been unveiled by Pattern, although these are set to develop as the project progresses through to the construction stage. The invite-only competition was run by the Chinese multinational conglomerate Wanda Group, with Pattern having been selected ahead of HPP and HKS.

The new Dalian stadium will sit on an incredible site situated on the waterfront of Suoyu Bay, Ganjingzi District, Dalian, a major city and seaport in the south of Liaoning Province, North-East China. The stadium will be part of a wider redevelopment for Ganjingzi called City Marina Park, a process that will include extending the metro line and the construction of an under-sea tunnel which will connect the new development to Central Dalian.

The 26.5-hectare site comprises reclaimed and industrial land, situated right on the waterfront. This unique location was instrumental in inspiring the design concept developed by Pattern. Envisaged as colored ETFE, the façade produces a shimmering light, a quality that evokes sunlight reflecting on the ocean and sea shells on the adjacent beaches. The form of the building suggests three shell-like structures appearing to float and twist within each other. At night, the stadium will be a spectacle of light, with the illumination reflecting off the sweeping building and the ocean beyond.

The stadium will come armed with a community sports park featuring outdoor training pitches that support the club’s youth academy, cycle routes, and a running track that spirals up the stadium. These features will make the facility a major public destination and tourist area on the waterfront.

The incredible waterfront setting has inspired the proposal of a unique 1.6 km walking and running route up the façade, akin to the Top Wonder at the Birds Nest Stadium, but on a larger scale with public space and amenities at the summit. As a result, visitors, on their way to the top, will be able to enjoy a wonderous spiral walking route where they can take in Suoyu Bay, Dalian City and the Dading, Jianzi and Baiyun Mountains. At the summit, visitors can relax, relish the views and visit the café. A perfect place to put one’s hair down.

Pattern Director Lindsay Johnston exclaimed, “We are honored that our design won the Dalian stadium competition and was selected to host such a prestigious tournament. Following our recent successes of the FIFA World Cup™ stadia in Qatar, we are excited to be working with the AFC (Asian Football Confederation) on our first project in China.”

Pattern’s has to its credit delivering projects like Qatar’s Al Rayyan Stadium and Education City Stadium.

Dalian is one among the 10 host cities for the 2023 Asian Cup alongside Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, Chongqing, Chengdu, Xi’an, Qingdao, Xiamen and Suzhou.

Client Principal Architect William Hailiang Chen remarked, “Among the three schemes developed by Pattern, HPP and HKS, Pattern’s scheme stood out instantly. It has imaginatively created a unique sense of place, one that elevates and emphasises the spirit of Dalian Harbour. The simple form and unforgettable vibrant blue facade echo the City’s deep-rooted and historic culture of football, a source of true pride for the City and its people.”

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