A cool place to hang out

China Daily | Updated: 2023-09-21 13:53
Share - WeChat
Yangshan Sport Climbing Centre in Shaoxing, Zhejiang province, is the world's first fully functional permanent climbing competition venue. Provided to China Daily

Award-winning Yangshan Sport Climbing Centre is a marvel of design and construction, boasting a unique blend of semi-open architecture, stunning views and smart technologies

One of the most visually stunning venues of the 19th Asian Games is Shaoxing Keqiao Yangshan Sport Climbing Centre.

Designed in the shape of a silkworm cocoon on the site of an abandoned quarry in Shaoxing, Zhejiang province, the venue is the world's first fully functional permanent climbing competition venue. During the Asian Games, 110 athletes from 16 countries and regions will compete here for six gold medals, from Oct 3 to 7.

The center has already drawn widespread acclaim, winning around 100 awards, both at home and abroad. Recently, it was shortlisted for an award at the 2023 World Architecture Festival.

Local legacies

Designed by the city's Huahui Engineering Design Group, with Huang Huiming as the lead architect, the building is characterized by a harmonious blend of the local landscape and culture.

The "cocoon" was built on the site of a former quarry dating back over 1,500 years. It is believed that Goujian, a king of the Spring and Autumn Period (770-476 BC), used giant stones from the quarry to build the ancient city of Shaoxing, endowing the quarry site with unique and spectacular landscapes.

In the 1960s, the area was filled with soil and mulberry trees were planted, serving as a silkworm farming base for local villagers. However, in the 1990s, the silkworm industry gradually faded away, leaving the site in disrepair and overgrown with weeds.

As Hangzhou is known as the "Silk Capital" and Shaoxing is globally renowned for its textile industry, the design team had the vision to create a monument that would honor both legacies.

"The cocoon has been crafted and serves as a bridge between the past and present, and is also a symbol of transformation and rebirth," according to the design team.

In addition, the venue's design adopts the gardening techniques of borrowing and dividing. Through the hollowed-out curtain wall, audiences are able to enjoy the natural landscapes around it.

"Sport climbing is often described as 'ballet on rocks' and, originally, was exclusively an outdoor activity. So the ancient giant rocks that remained here are a perfect fit for the sport," said Huang.

Innovation abounds

The venue was constructed with the innovative use of ultra-high-performance concrete (UHPC) panels.

The architect's curtain-wall system is composed of 1,600 perforated UHPC panels, which envelop the structure, harmoniously blending the building into the environment while reducing its energy consumption.

"We conducted dozens of experiments to choose the most suitable construction materials. UHPC won out, as it's really robust yet looks very simple and light. The combination of rigidity and softness perfectly suits sport climbing as well," Huang explained.

The venue's semi-open design is economical while also blurring the boundary between indoor and outdoor spaces, creating a shared, open space for the community.

Meanwhile, with a 55-percent perforation rate, the creative design shields athletes from glare and light pollution while enhancing natural light, shading, ventilation, and energy efficiency.

"Some sport climbers said this is the most beautiful and comfortable venue that they have experienced, and they can even see the moon and stars when climbing," Huang added.

Wang Bingyuan, the warm-up training supervisor at the center, echoed those sentiments: "This venue is big and well-equipped with all kinds of facilities. When one climbs to the top and looks back, a stunning view of Yangshan Quarry Heritage Park unfolds through the perforation design. It is very impressive."

A bright idea

The cocoon-shaped center is not only attractive during the day but also showcases its grandeur at night, thanks to smart lighting systems and effects.

Indeed, intelligent technologies have been applied throughout the venue.

Before construction began, the design team employed methods such as digital modeling to assemble the giant UHPC panels. The application of a building information modeling (BIM) system integrates parametric design, construction, transportation and maintenance, combining to greatly improve the center's efficiency.

Construction began in April 2021 and, remarkably, was completed in April 2022.

Huang also noted that smart skylights can be easily controlled to cater to different weather, temperature and humidity conditions, in a bid to make the most of the natural light and save energy.

The venue uses green electricity, which is generated by wind power from northwestern China.

1 2 3 4 5 Next   >>|
Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349