China, Foshan 

Century Lotus Sports Park, Stadium


Competition 2003 – 2nd Prize
Design Volkwin Marg
Partner Nikolaus Goetze
Project leader Christian Hoffmann
Staff (execution) Björn Füchtenkord, Franz Lensing, Stephan Menke, Silke Flaßnöcker, Ebi Tang, Sven Greiser
Staff (execution) stadium swimming gymnasium Stephan Menke, Michael Haase, Björn Füchtenkord, Stephanie Krämer, Jennifer Kielas, Sven Greiser
Structural engineering schlaich bergermann und partner
Chinese partner practice South China University, Architectural Design and Rese-arch Institute
Client Foshan Sports Site Construction Center for the 12th Provincial Sports Event
Seats (stadium) 36.000
Construction period 2004–2006



Christian Gahl

On the occasion of the 12th Guangdong Province Sports Meeting in 2006 Foshan wanted to present itself to the public as a modern and growing city. A multi-purpose stadium and a swimming hall serve all the demands of interna-tional sports competitions, while training and leisure sports facilities offer visitors a wide variety of activities.

The circular stadium dominates the silhouette of the sports park with its huge, white membrane roof. Thanks to its location on a green hill it looks like a lotus blossom.

The stadium’s spoke-wheel roof construction with the folded membrane covering measures 350 m in diameter and covers not just the stands but the outer concourses as well. With a grand gesture it links the stadium bowl to the surrounding park and became a symbol for the games of 2006.

The second venue in the sports park, the swimming pool, reflects the architectural language of the stadium, allowing the two buildings to appear as an ensemble without undermining the unquestioned dominance of the stadium.

The translucent membrane roof appears to hover unsupported above the water, and the stands and pools are embedded into the plateau of dike topography. The pools are constructed in a series and set into ground which has been built up to a height of one or two storeys.

Unlike the stadium, the folding membrane over the swimming complex is held up by a linear structure of more than 70-m-long diagonal steel supports, whose tension is taken up by triangular abutments. Supporting cables stretch between these abutments, ensuring the stability of the membrane roof.