|We wanted the hill to remain the key element of this project so we housed the different facilities in three buildings, similar in shape but of different sizes, that relate in an organic way to echo the curves of the hills. We positioned the outside ceremonial area, delimited by the buildings and the trees, in the spot with the most beautiful view of one of the valleys that cuts through the hills.|
The Guangzhou Gymnasium, which opened July 2001, is one of the main facilities being used for the 9th National Games of the Republic of China in 2001.
The sports complex is situated at the foot of the Baiyun Hills in a protected landscape, an open space in the otherwise very dense city of Canton, where construction is not permitted. The public facilities for outside activities are set amidst the greenery in the 18 hectar natural park.
After the competition phase the Canton City Government brought several improvements to the initial project by deciding to move a newly planned road system elsewhere and not build a hotel on the site. Instead they have been looking at the possibility of a connecting road between the gymnasium park and a new park situated at the foot of the hills.
The Guangzhou Gymnasium is equipped with all the facilities needed for the organization of a major sports competition. It has a covered multi sport stadium seating up to 13,000, training and warm-up rooms, a pool, a smaller center for leisure sports, a restaurant, locker rooms, a press center and a control laboratory.
The Training Hall building includes a big hall, an olympic size pool and a series of rooms designed for special sports. The third building houses the Public Sports Center.
A provision for modular expansion has been built into the complex. The link between the three shell-shaped buildings contain all the equipment.
The main public entrance is located opposite the entrance reserved for the athletes and the VIP’s. The latter is directly connected to the sports village and the training center.
Each of the three shell-shaped buildings that constitutes the sports complex have a semi-transparent, white colored roof designed to ensure quality uniform lighting during the day, perfect for television broadcasting.
At night, the interior lighting illuminates the roof, which seen from outside creates an unreal looking silhouette that stands out against the background of the Baiyun Hills.
The supporting frames, with a maximum span of 160 meters, resemble the one in Hall F, Terminal 2 of Charles-de-Gaulle Airport in Paris. Again, the upper ridge serves as a technical space where the cross beams can be joined in such a way that the framework remains a lightweight structure which, together with the semi-transparent roof, forms the luminous material which has been the object of Paul Andreu’s work.