Chinese University of Hong Kong Arena | Tom Wiscombe Design
From the architect: “This proposal for a university sports complex is part of a larger masterplan and architectural design competition for the Chinese University of Hong Kong in Shenzhen. The program includes classrooms, labs, dorms, faculty housing, administration, amenities, and sports functions. The building is more than a sports venue; it is an idea about social space and multi-functionality for the 21st century university culture.”

Arch2o-Chinese University of Hong Kong Arena-Tom Wiscombe Design (5)

Courtesy of Tom Wiscombe Design

The proposed arena is made up of a volume with sharp surfaces peeling away from it to create an ambiguous threshold between the exterior environment and interior space similar to Mies van der Rohe’s Farnsworth House. By drawing comparisons with the iconic house, Wiscombe’s structure also denies the ground condition by having it connect very subtly by setting the base of the building back so it is not seen by the user.

Arch2o-Chinese University of Hong Kong Arena-Tom Wiscombe Design (11)

Courtesy of Tom Wiscombe Design

Composite materials form the patterned panels of the edifice allowing for large pieces to be built without compromising the form. Within the applied surface pattern of the building are solar thin film technology which explores the new technological methods of sustainability without compromising appearance.

Arch2o-Chinese University of Hong Kong Arena-Tom Wiscombe Design (14)

Courtesy of Tom Wiscombe Design

Tom Wiscombe describes the building as “simultaneously an object that contains its own context and a contextual object. It rests in the site as a bird in a nest, loosely, and without ever fusing together.” Placed atop a platform, the user enters by processing up a series of imposing steps.  The interior serves as an indoor arena able to house 3,000 fixed seats with a flexible program able to function as an indoor soccer court to a gathering place. Exterior space allows for restaurants .

By Lyly Huyen

Courtesy of Tom Wiscombe Design

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