Beijing, China – The “Quzhou Sports Campus” designed by MAD Architects, led by Ma Yansong, has just broken ground in the historic city of Quzhou, in China’s eastern coastal province of Zhejiang. Spanning almost 700,000 square metres, the first and second phase have a total construction area of approximately 340,000 square metres, and include a stadium (30,000 seats), gymnasium (10,000 seats), natatorium (2,000 seats), national sports complex, outdoor sports venue, science & technology museum, hotel accommodations, youth centre and retail programs. MAD’s design embeds the functions of the sports park within natural forms, creating an earth-art landscape in the center of the city – a poetic landscape that falls somewhere between that of Earth and Mars.
“We dream not only of creating an urban space about sports and ecology, but also turning it into a unique land art park for the world, establishing a relationship between the city’s heritage and history of Shanshui culture,” said Ma Yansong.
Resembling a crater, the stadium sits into the ground, forming a deep space. It is crowned by a translucent “halo” that gently hovers above the ground like a floating cloud. Its proximity to the earth makes it seem within reach – close but untouchable – inviting people to engage in a dialogue between the earth and the sky, and discover spiritual truth. The adjacent rolling “hills” on the northeast side form the gymnasium, natatorium, and training centre. Above are public spaces and natural scenery that attract people to look up and pause in a moment of contemplation.