BDP wraps waterside stadium in double-helix walking route


UK architecture studio BDP has unveiled the Suoyuwan Barracuda Bay Stadium in Dalian Bay, China, which is wrapped with a spiral footpath that overlooks the waterside.

The 63,000-capacity football stadium was designed by BDP’s sports and entertainment division BDP Pattern with engineering firm Buro Happold, aiming to create a landmark for the city of Dalian.

Suoyuwan Barracuda Bay Stadium in Dalian Bay by BDP PatternSuoyuwan Barracuda Bay Stadium in Dalian Bay by BDP Pattern
Suoyuwan Barracuda Bay Stadium is located in Dalian Bay

Located on a reclaimed industrial site on the bay’s peninsula, the Suoyuwan Barracuda Bay Stadium has a double-helix ramp that wraps the facade and leads from the building’s podium to the roof.

The stadium has a circular shape and its facade features geometric blue patterns, referencing sea waves and maritime creatures.

Football stadium in China by BDP PatternFootball stadium in China by BDP Pattern
A double-helix walking route wraps the stadium

“The new Suoyuwan Stadium represents the largest and most striking design that BDP Pattern has delivered,” said BDP Pattern architect Nick Tyrer.

“The dynamic facade evokes cascading waves and shimmering seashells in three interlocking forms.”

Football stadium and sports pitch by BDP PatternFootball stadium and sports pitch by BDP Pattern
A community sports park was built adjacent to the stadium

The stadium forms the first stage of the City Marina Park redevelopment project, which will see an extension of the metro line and an underwater tunnel connecting the site to the city centre.

It’s home to the Chinese League One football team Dalian Youngboy FC and aims to foster an energetic atmosphere for fans.

“The design enhances the idea of sporting architecture as a form of art,” said Tyrer.

“At night, the stadium is a spectacle of lighting, with LEDs projecting dramatic light shows off the sweeping building form.”

Suoyuwan Barracuda Bay Stadium by BDP PatternSuoyuwan Barracuda Bay Stadium by BDP Pattern
The football stadium has a circular shape

A roof with a central circular opening was made from lightweight cable and tension structural systems to cover the seating areas.

According to Buro Happold partner Rob May, the structural design and the tensile fabric facade created a lightweight building and lowered the carbon impact of the building.

Football stadium with a geometric facadeFootball stadium with a geometric facade
It has a geometric blue facade

“The close collaboration between the facade and structural design facilitated the elegant double-curved panelised geometry, efficiently minimising the overall volume while elegantly embracing the spiral walkway and structure,” said May.

“Using a cable roof system and a tensile fabric facade delivered the significant carbon savings we were after,” he continued.

“This approach minimised the weight of the structure and allowed for swift construction on site, both of which contributed to delivering a cost-effective project.”

Inside the Suoyuwan Barracuda Bay Stadium in Dalian Bay by BDP PatternInside the Suoyuwan Barracuda Bay Stadium in Dalian Bay by BDP Pattern
Suoyuwan Barracuda Bay Stadium was designed to create a lively atmosphere for football fans

Nearby, a community sports park with outdoor training pitches was added to the stadium’s masterplan.

BDP was founded in 1961 in Preston, UK. Pattern was founded in 2009 by Dipesh Patel before joining the BDP Group in 2021.

Other sports venues in China on Dezeen include a football pitch perched atop a concrete vaulted base in Shaoxing and a ski jump in Beijing that was designed for the 2022 Winter Olympics.

The photography is by Terrence Zhang.



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