One of the world’s most unique sports complexes takes from a local natural treasure, the vast red beaches of China’s Panjin.
The largest sports complex of Panjin wasn’t built in Panjin itself, not even entirely on land. A fragment of land had to be retrieved from the sea, several kilometers south of residential areas. Well, at least back in 2010 it was remote, by the time the stadium opened works on surrounding estates were already ongoing.
Area of 121,000 m2 was earmarked for the development, all based along a half-circular main pedestrian ramp: main stadium, event hall, natatorium and tennis hall. They’re surrounded by secondary facilities for training, as well as a museum and educational facilities incorporated into the complex.
The main stadium itself has a footprint of 46,566 m2 and reaches 5 floors at peak (west stand). That’s not the highest point yet, because all stands are surrounded by basket-shaped steel structure that supports its 800-ton roof. The highest point of that ring is 63.5m above ground level, making it an instant landmark for the size alone.
But far more important for the landmark status is the architecture. All four major facilities are wrapped with bright red ribbons of membrane mesh of impressive total surface (45,000 m2 around the stadium alone!). Due to this dynamic and almost chaotic layout Panjin’s stadium was nicknamed “the little nest”, as a smaller brother of Beijing’s National Stadium.
Smaller indeed, because the single-tiered stands (double tier in the west) hold under 36,000 people. The stadium’s identity has little in common with Beijing’s equivalent, though. In this case vivid red facades are derived from Panjin’s famous Red Beach, a landscape park known worldwide for the sea of red sueda plants.
Enabling works for the complex were launched back in 2010 (land retrieval) while actual construction was launched in May 2011. By July 2013 the complex was operational, in time for China’s National Youth Games. In 2014 it was also the venue for Super League’s Liaoning FC, while on a regular basis it serves student athletes of the Dalian Technical University – Panjin.