Structure: Qingying Ren, Fukui Zhang, Sen Li
Awards: 2016, WAACA WA Technological Innovation Award Winner
Text description provided by the architects. The Gymnasium of New Campus of Tianjin University is located in the north of the front zone of the campus. The main buildings include an indoor sports center and a natatorium. The public spaces of these two buildings are linked by a large arch bridge which encloses an entrance plaza and connects the entire building.
According to the respective requirements towards the plan dimension, headroom, and usage (dedicated or multi-purpose), the multiple indoor sports fields are compactly organized and connected by the linear public spaces (the public hall, the arch bridge, and the lobby of swimming pool). This kind of design strategy largely not only enhances the openness and sports atmosphere of the interior spaces but also creates diverse eave heights and an efficient and easy-going layout.
The design mainly focuses on how to logically organize and repeat the basic unit of the form and structure to generate specific function, light environment, and atmosphere within each space. The public hall of the indoor sports center adopts ruled curve surface roof of a gradient wave-shape (hollow ribbed roof structure), with a 140-meter-long indoor overhead track, which forms a great light environment and infinite landscape. The exercisers who are running on the overhead track naturally become a part of the landscape, showing the sports spirit of the architecture.
The roof and the exterior walls of the sports space use a series of reinforced concrete structure of ruled curve surfaces, barrel arches and conical surfaces which provide long span space and high side window daylighting. The tectonic texture of the wooden mold concrete is exposed inside, and the architectural outline of silence and diversity is formed outside, achieving the perfect unity of the building's structure, space, and form.
Compared with the architectural image of the exaggerated and arbitrary through the decoration nowadays, this design exposes the structure to access the beauty of "tectonic", resulting in the space of silence, plain and rhythm, presenting more permanent "poetic" of space.