In Progress: China National Tennis Center / Atelier 11


Architects: Atelier 11
Location: Beijing,
Design Director: Xu Lei
Design Team: Ding Liqun, Gao Qinglei, Liu Heng, An Peng
Construction Drawing: Xu Lei, An Peng, Gao Qinglei, Ding Liqun, Li Lei, Liu Heng, Zhu Yin, Jin Ding
Client: Beijing Shi Ao Co., Ltd.
Project area: 51,199 sqm
Project year: 2009 – 2011
Photographs: Atelier 11

© Atelier 11

Specially designed for the country’s most prestigious tennis game – China Open, the new China National Tennis Center is located in the Beijing Olympic Zone. As a last addition to the group of national stadiums built before the 2008 Olympic Games, the Center will become Beijing’s largest stadium for tennis games with its state-of-art facilities after the completion in June 2011.

© Atelier 11

The design takes a coherent approach and presents a crown-like structure with the use of 16 sets of V-shaped columns for the skeleton of the architecture. The columns not only hold the grandstand and outdoor maintenance facilities, but also create a geometric pattern for the exteriors of the building. So the structure of the stadium is able to speak for its own beauty without any unnecessary decoration. While the design remains simplistic and distinctive, the concrete construction adds the weight to the stadium as to project an emotional perception on the visitors, referring to the importance of the building in its field.

© Atelier 11

For the internal space and facilities, different needs from all the user groups have been analyzed in depth so that both design and function in a high quality can be achieved. In order to stay flexible for the weather change during games and various conditions required by other activities, a collapsible roof is designed to have a maximum opening of 60x70m towards the sky.

© Atelier 11

Besides the regular seating rows spreading around the stadium, a two-floor box is specially designed around the bottom part of the grandstand to create more exclusive seats for a better view within the limited space. The design of flow lines inside the stadium takes into consideration the different activities by athletes, VIPs, regular audience, and staff. Taking the existing site condition and the solid traffic concept in the surroundings, the entry and exit channels for each group are carefully divided without interference, which guarantees a well-organized traffic flow inside the stadium even if with its maximum capacity.

Cite: Rosenberg, Andrew. "In Progress: China National Tennis Center / Atelier 11" 15 Mar 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed 23 May 2015. <>
  • Tennis fan

    This is for tennis, right?
    The scale of this stadium is far too big for tennis. Do you reckon the spectators can see the fast moving little yellow ball from Nadal if you sit right at the top (3rd photo)?
    I wonder if the architect has the right brief…

  • Bekim

    Its almost the same scale as the flushing meadows center court (i think) but yep it looks big and unnecessary but we’re talking of china here :-)

  • Liam

    its such a violent/strong stanced form for such a beautiful/graceful sport. but thats just my opinion.