Field Hockey Stadium by Archi-Tectonics


Archi-Tectonics’ Field Hockey Stadium at Hangzhou Asian Games Park is characterized by a diaphanous 125-meter free-span wing roof, doubling as a landscape sculpture. Positioned five meters below ground level, the stadium seamlessly integrates with the natural contours of the landscape, presenting itself as an organic element within the Park. Unlike conventional stadiums that isolate themselves, Archi-Tectonics’ design aims to harmonize with the environment. The playing field is set within a recessed oval grass plain, blending into the park’s rolling terrain. Winka Dubbeldam, Founding Partner of Archi-Tectonics, emphasizes their unique approach, stating, ‘Most stadiums are fortresses. Ours is more like land art.’ As an integral part of the landscape, the 5,000-seat stadium facilitates a smooth transition between the plaza and the playing field, adapting to the varying elevations. Spectators enter through a glass atrium with 35-meter high ceilings, offering a grand entrance. In plan, the roof and field take the shape of intersecting ovals, drawing inspiration from geometric configurations like the Seed of Life or the Vesica Piscis.

archi-tectonics tops field hockey stadium in hangzhou with 125-meter free-span wing roof
all images by SFAP Shanghai



Archi-Tectonics’ Roof Structure Bridges Tradition & Technology


The roof of the structure draws inspiration from the traditional Meinong oil paper and bamboo umbrella, spanning the entire distance in one continuous sweep. A single curved beam holds the roof in place, maintaining tension in the mesh. Positioned about a meter above the building, the roof creates a natural draft that brings cool air over the spectators. Surrounding the sunroof is a ring, ranging from 1 meter in diameter at its thinnest to 1.5 meters at its thickest, anchored by four substantial concrete sculptural elements. According to the team, the concrete abutments do not support the structure but instead weigh it down, contributing to the overall tension of the construction. Collaborating with structural engineer Thornton Tomasetti, Archi-Tectonics conducted prototyping and testing to achieve an ultra-lightweight structure, enabling the impressive free span of the roof. The construction process involved a comprehensive 3D modeling approach, integrating every aspect from construction staff management to material flows, budget considerations, and detailing. This project, comprising a park and seven buildings, became the first in China to achieve full coordination in Building Information Modeling (BIM) and received recognition for this accomplishment.

archi-tectonics tops field hockey stadium in hangzhou with 125-meter free-span wing roof
the stadium is covered by a 125-meter free-span wing roof that shades the lobby and stands



The structure, made of poured-in-place concrete, features an entrance plaza leading to a glass lobby beneath the sloping stands. On the ground floor, VIP lounges and parking areas are positioned beneath the main lobby, integrated into the topography’s slope. Apart from hosting field hockey games, the stadium serves as a venue for outdoor film screenings, concerts, and various events. The double-curved glass facade enveloping the lobby is supported by an engineered hardwood and steel structure, creating a play of light and shadow. Balancing modern engineering, the stadium incorporates traditional local finishes, such as interior walls clad in locally sourced bamboo, contributing to a sustainable building rooted in the region’s heritage. The surrounding sloping landscape, designed by !Melk!, adopts a sustainable sponge city approach, integrating local vegetation and elegant pavement patterns to incorporate porous areas. Initially planned as a non-permanent structure for the Games, the architects proposed and the client agreed to transform it into a hybrid facility with cultural functions for the neighborhood after the conclusion of the Asian Games. The 2023 edition of the Asian Games, the second-largest international sporting competition after the Olympics, took place in October.

archi-tectonics tops field hockey stadium in hangzhou with 125-meter free-span wing roof
the stadium has a seating capacity for 5,000 visitors

archi-tectonics tops field hockey stadium in hangzhou with 125-meter free-span wing roof
the structure appears to emerge out of the folding landscape

archi-tectonics tops field hockey stadium in hangzhou with 125-meter free-span wing roof



project info:


architect: Archi-Tectonics NYC, LLC

collaborators: Thornton Tomasetti Engineers, !Melk Landscape and Mobility in Chain traffic engineers
LDI: Zhejiang Province Institute Of Architectural Design And Research (ZIAD)
construction drawing design consultation: Powerchina Huadong Engineering Corporation Limited (HDEC)
general contractor: China Power Construction Group East China Survey and Design Research Institute Co., Ltd.
landscape design: !Melk NY
construction unit: Zhejiang Xinsheng Construction Group Co., Ltd.

location: Hangzhou, China
built area: 18,000 sqm / 5000 seats
date: Winning of competition May 2018

completion: October 2022, Opening Games Oct 2023

photography: SFAP Shanghai | @shaofengap