urban camouflage: HANGZHOU SPORTS CENTER, 2006
Hangzhou is famous in China for its verdant landscapes. To maintain this character in the face of explosive urban growth, numerous hilltops and ridges are designated as no-build zones. The backdrop to this sports building is one of these protected ridge lines. In order to minimise this building’s visual impact on the landscape, a strategy of 2D and 3D camouflage has been adopted. The dispersed plan, topographic 3D geometry, and fragmented cladding scheme, reduce the viewer’s perception of the project as a single large building. The architecture reads as a landscape when experienced from within the building and from the surrounding urban fabric.
The primary programs of the building provide the new residential district with a destination for entertainment and health. The functions are organised to maximise the potential for this to become a social place – a place which is equally attractive to spectators as it is to participants. An organisational strategy of super-adjacency was used to give the building a sense of urbanity, where many activities are experienced simultaneously. The plan revolves around the social heart of the complex, the café-bar-restaurant. It is exposed to a maximum of indoor and outdoor sporting programs, has mountain views and sun access, and opens onto external terraces.