Pattern Design selected to create ‘marine-inspired’ waterfront stadium in China


Following a design competition by the Wanda Group for a new 63,000-capacity stadium in Ganjingzi, Dalian, in northeast China, Pattern Design has been selected to carry out the project as its architect, interior designer, masterplanner and lead consultant.

The new waterfront venue will built to host matches for the AFC Asian Cup soccer tournament in 2023 and will also potentially be home to Chinese Super League soccer side Dalian Pro FC.

Pattern’s concept for the new stadium is said to be inspired by its location on the city’s seaport of Suoyu Bay with the building comprised of three shell-like structures that appear to float and twist within each other, while its multi-colored ETFE façade produces a shimmering lighting effect to represent sunlight reflecting on the ocean.

The stadium includes a community sports park featuring outdoor training pitches that support the club’s youth academy, while cycle routes and a 1.6km (1-mile) running track that spirals up the stadium are proposed to make the stadium a major public destination and tourist area on the waterfront. Visitors on their way to the top will be able to take in views of Barracuda Bay, Dalian City and the Dading, Jianzi and Baiyun Mountains. At the summit, there will be public spaces including a café.

The concept was praised by the client’s principal architect, William Hailiang Chen, who said:

“Among the three schemes developed by Pattern, HPP and HKS, Pattern’s scheme stood out instantly. It has imaginatively created a unique sense of place, one that elevates and emphasizes the spirit of Dalian Harbor. The simple form and unforgettable vibrant blue façade echo the City’s deep-rooted and historic culture of football, a source of true pride for the City and its people.’

The stadium will form a major part of Ganjingzi’s wider redevelopment called City Marina Park, which is using 26.5 hectares (65 acres) of reclaimed and industrial land for the site and will include an undersea tunnel to connect the development to central Dalian.

It will be Pattern’s first project in China and will work alongside Buro Happold who will serve as the structural, MEP, and civil engineer.

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James has been Editor of Stadia since 2018 having worked at print and digital magazines and websites around the world covering everything from lifestyle to sport, technology, motoring, and more. He also edits Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International.

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