MVRDV and Zhubo Architecture Design have won a competition to design the Xili Sports and Cultural Centre in Shenzhen, China. The new experience center will consist of four distinct volumes housing a theater, a basketball and badminton arena, a multi-function arena and a swimming pool, as it seeks to “transform the lives of the different generations of people living nearby, through offering a more humanistic model for sports and culture.”
As the fastest developing urban region in China, Shenzhen is currently undergoing a transformation from a production-based to a knowledge-driven economy. The resulting boom has already created high-density usage, and stadium-sized sports facilities for entertainment. But there remains a lack of recreational facilities for typical citizens.
“There is now a need for a more human-centred approach; the challenge was to go from bigness to compression through understanding urbanism,” explain the architects. “MVRDV’s design for the densification and development of a sports and cultural centre responds to the growing demand for fitness sports venues, with the intention of introducing a more fun, human, social and sustainable model that departs from populist Olympic-sized sports arenas.”
The complex will be located in a residential area along Shenzhen’s Dasha Green Corridor, which stretches between the Nanshan and Yangtai mountain parks. Program elements have been arranged to allow for flexible zones, where different sports and social activities can occur, blurring the boundaries between sports and culture to strengthen community interaction.
“We wanted to combine a large-scale sports stadium with a social aspect connecting it with the community. This was achieved by arranging different volumes on the site around a new diagonal (green) bridge linking the Chaguang metro station in the south, with the Tanglan mountains in the north, making this centre a stage for different users - nature, sports and culture”, says MVRDV founding partner, Jacob van Rijs.
The center’s total 105,000 square meters (1,130,000 square feet) includes a 20,000 square meter (215,000 square foot) theatre-amphitheatre, 15,000 square meter (161,000 square foot) Basketball- Badminton arena, 10,000 square meter (108,000 square foot) multifunctional arena and 6,000 square meter (65,000 square foot) swimming pool. The signature element of the complex is a special elevated running track that connects and weaves between the volumes, inviting visitors to “go for an exciting run around the complex, relax and socialise both inside and outside.”
MVRDV designed the project in collaboration with co-architects Zhubo Architecture Design, who are well-revered for their influential works in Shenzhen and throughout China, alongside adopting a humanistic approach to the effect of the design and construction process on health, well-being and fitness.
Xili Sports and Cultural Centre will be MVRDV's first project under construction in Shenzhen. Construction is slated to begin in 2017.
LocationXili, Nanshan, Shenzhen, Guangdong, China
MVRDV TeamWiny Maas, Jacob van Rijs, Nathalie de Vries, Wenchian Shi, Gustavo van Staveren, Tiantian Zhang, Daehee Suk, Duong Vu Hong, Patryk Slusarski, Xiaoting Chen, Mikel Vazquez, Bowen Zhu
Zhubo TeamGuochuan Feng, Linlong Xiong, Wenbing He, Yixiang Zhang, Zhuo Dai, Xinyan Hu
ClientShenzhen Nanshan Government
PhotographsCourtesy of MVRDV