Nantong Sports Center Winning Proposal / Henn

Courtesy of

Henn architects recently won the first prize in the invited international competition to design a new sports center in Nantong, , which is in close proximity to Shanghai. The Nantong Sports Center establishes a hybrid of landscape, public space and athletic functions. As the epicenter of the complex, the 50,000sqm stadium features a 400 m track and seating for 10,000 spectators. Smaller independent sports halls surround the central stadium, interconnected by a diagrid path network which seamlessly links all functions throughout the site. More images and architects’ description after the break.

Courtesy of Henn

Located next to the government building and the new Nantong Urban Planning Museum, the sports center integrates smoothly with its local urban fabric. Assimilation is achieved by reinterpreting the city grid to maximize interaction with the existing east-west green axis. Extension of the central axis also promotes circulation between the ancient temple and neighboring commercial facilities. The ancient roots of the city emphasize harmony between its people, their activities, and nature.

Courtesy of Henn

Base modules for all buildings consist of unified diamond-shaped cells of various functions and pre-defined scales: small (S), medium (M), large (L), and extra large (XL). Cells proliferate outward from the stadium cell, transforming in scale according to unique functional requirements (i.e. basketball courts, tennis courts, martial arts facilities, medical center). As the epicenter of the complex, the stadium occupies an XL diamond cell, featuring a 400 M track and seating for 15,000 spectators. Structural components of the stadium include a ribbed framework and external translucent membrane. The intelligent night lighting scheme for the membrane illuminates the roof in a variety of color combinations.

Architects: Henn
Location: Nantong, China
Design Team: Leander Adrian, Daniel da Rocha, Martin Henn, Anthony Hu, Alan Kim, Agata Kycia, Paul Langley, Jeewon Paek, Emil Pira, Klaus Ransmayr, Wei Sun, Mu Xingyu
Consultants: Schlaich Bergermann & Partner, Wabe-Plan
Local Partner: Tshinghua University Architecture Design Institute
Client: City of Nantong
Area GFA: sports stadium 50,000sqm; arena 13,690sqm; swimming hall 11,872sqm; badminton hall 11,037sqm; table tennis hall 10,955sqm
Status: International Competition First Prize
Program: Sports and Leisure

Cite: Furuto, Alison. "Nantong Sports Center Winning Proposal / Henn" 27 Mar 2012. ArchDaily. Accessed 25 May 2015. <>