Three stadiums by architects von Gerkan, Marg and Partners (gmp) received the most important international architectural awards for sports and leisure buildings. At this year’s IOC/IAKS Awards, the Bao’An Stadium in Shenzhen, China, received a gold medal in the “Major outdoor stadiums” category. The Shanghai Oriental Sports Center in China won another gold in the “Pools and wellness facilities” category. And the Warsaw National Stadium in Poland received the bronze medal in the “Major outdoor stadiums” category.
Shanghai Oriental Sports Center: Gold in the “Pools and wellness facilities” category
For the competitions of the 14th FINA World Aquatics Championships in 2011, a new sports centre was created in Shanghai covering an area of over 347,000 square metres and comprising a sports stadium, a pool stadium, an outdoor pool for diving competitions and a media center. The link element between the different venues is an artificial lake. The buildings are supported on platforms that project into the lake. Towards the north, this results in a softly curving bank around the circular stadiums and, to the south, in a straight edge at the outdoor pool.
Bao’An Stadium, Shenzhen: Gold in the “Major outdoor stadiums” category
This stadium for 40,000 spectators was built on the occasion of the 2011 Universiade. The design was inspired by the bamboo forests of southern China. The image of the bamboo forest is created by a double ring of green steel posts whereby every other post of the inner ring combines with the concrete structure of the undulating upper rank, supporting the vertical loads from the spectator stands. The roof of the spectator stands consists of a tensile membrane structure with an inner ring and radial spokes. In detail, the roof is formed of 36 radial cable pairs which are tied together above the playing field via a double circular tensile ring consisting of cable bundles.
Warsaw National Stadium: Bronze in the “Major outdoor stadiums” category
This stadium for 55,000 spectators was completed on the occasion of the 2012 UEFA European Championship. Its unmistakable visual impact results from the expanded metal panels in the facade in the striking Polish national colours, red and white. This translucent layer combines the different areas of the stadium into one large unit. Even when daylight strength is moderate, the interwoven facade elements create a rich interplay of light and shade. At night, the colour and striking contours of this facade are emphasised even more by its integrated lighting.
gmp: Worldwide stadium builders
For several years, the architects von Gerkan, Marg and Partners have been making a name for themselves in stadium design. Their projects include the Berlin Olympic Stadium, which was renovated and refurbished for the FIFA World Cup in 2006; the stadiums in Cape Town, Port Elizabeth and Durban, completed for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa and the stadiums in Warsaw and Kiev completed for the 2012 UEFA European Championship in Poland and Ukraine. Currently, gmp Architects are involved with the design for the National Stadium in Brasília and the Arena da Amazônia in Manaus for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. In addition, they are responsible for the design of the modernisation of a third World Cup stadium – the Mineirão Stadium in Belo Horizonte.