The Zaha Hadid Architects is all set to design the Chinese Football Stadium that will feature plants and vegetation on its terrace. The construction of the green football stadium will be completed by the year 2023 and the authorities hope to employ the stadium for the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup.

Officially known as the Xi’an Football center, it will be located in Xi’an’s Fengdong New District which has a population of nine million people and two professional football clubs and can seat 60000 people.

The Xi’an’s Fengdong New District was one of ancient China’s capital cities and also was situated in the heart of the Silk Road. The current business district of Xi’an has been welcoming tourists and other visitors from all around the world for a long time.

Xi’an's New Stadium with 'Garden Terraces' unveiled by Zaha Hadid Architects - Sheet1
Football Stadium ©


The stadium projects a design based on the Zaha Hadid Architects’ preference for undulating and dynamic shapes. The wavy structure, a digital and inventive design, with layered forms plays an important role in blending the stadium with the urban environment. The open, glass facades of the structure and the outdoor seating act as a welcoming factor towards the pre-game recreations and, to frame the flowing structure amongst the surrounding cityscape and the Qinling Mountains. 

The International Football Centre’s striking shape is not just attractive, but also functional in terms of safeguarding the digitally designed football stadium from the winds directed from the Qinling Mountains while increasing the stadium’s seating capacity. The translucent membrane shields the public from the harsh weather and sunlight but the void in the middle of the stadium permits enough sunlight into the enclosure

Xi’an's New Stadium with 'Garden Terraces' unveiled by Zaha Hadid Architects - Sheet2
Football Stadium ©

The stadium is designed to align with the urban grid of Xi’an’s Fengdong New District. The glass facades of the stadium will help the structure establish a connection with the outside world.

The facades of the stadium act as an open envelope welcoming the public into the core of the building, symbolizing the inviting nature of the district it is located in. The Zaha Hadid Architects refers to the planted balconies of Xi’an International Football Centre that will be built along the south elevation facade as ‘Garden Terraces’.The remaining elevations of the stadium’s facade will be designed with huge columns and claddings following sweeping lines that the designers at Zaha Hadid Architects state will help dissipate northerly winds. The sweeping lines featured in the design of the Stadium help in protecting the stadium against the northerly winds which may, otherwise, interrupt the games being held at the stadium. Combined with the structure’s sinuous, overhanging rooftop and south-facing terraces, the building’s cladding, also intends to enhance the building’s fluid form.

Xi’an's New Stadium with 'Garden Terraces' unveiled by Zaha Hadid Architects - Sheet3
Football Stadium ©

The fluid form of the roof provides the stadium with a futuristic look and the saddle-shaped seating bowl underneath it helps in increasing the audience seating located midfield. The digitally generated geometry of the seating bowl helps in optimizing the proximity and visual field of the spectators towards the field of play.

The overhanging and flowing rooftop of the stadium also intends to provide the people with a reprieve in the form of an overhead shade during hot summers. The wide perimeter roof overhanging the shelter facilities inside the building’s envelope and the large, shaded, open-air terraces and public plazas include extensive plantations on all levels. The overhanging roof also offers an excellent spot for makeshift stands for other services and the exhibition stands with a good view of the Qing Mountains.

Xi’an's New Stadium with 'Garden Terraces' unveiled by Zaha Hadid Architects - Sheet4
Football Stadium ©

The Xi’an International Football Centre will feature a distinctive saddle-shaped seating area, innovatively developed by the Zaha Hadid Architects to maximize the visual field of the pitch from all 60,000 seats.

The studio claims that the digital modeling has enhanced the geometry of the audience’ seating bowl and, it computes the proximity and the visual field towards the field of play from all the 60,000 seats and, in turn, generates an exciting atmosphere for the football stadium and, ensures a magnificent match experience for all the players and audience.

All the seating in the stadium will be housed underneath the sinuous translucent roof that will be open in the middle to permit an abundance of natural light and, to assist in the growth of the grass on the football pitch. The translucent membrane over the seating defends the spectators from extreme weather conditions and direct sunlight.

Xi’an's New Stadium with 'Garden Terraces' unveiled by Zaha Hadid Architects - Sheet5
Football Stadium ©

The lightweight, tensile, cable-net structure that will be employed in the construction will help achieve a large roof span for the stadium, and it will help minimize the amount of primary structure required to support it.

This decision of using the ultra-lightweight long span cable-net roof structure by the designers helps reduce the load and the material footprint of the stadium. Internationally, the Xi’an International Football Centre helps to preserve China’s connection to the football arena and helps in continuing the tradition of building a lasting legacy of public spaces, sports and recreational centers for the country.

Xi’an's New Stadium with 'Garden Terraces' unveiled by Zaha Hadid Architects - Sheet6
Football Stadium ©

Gopika Gopan is an Interior Designer who believes every building has a story to tell and is on a mission to narrate as many stories as possible. She believes architecture is the mirror of society and, she hopes to make a change in the world with her words and designs.

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