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Zhoushan Sports Stadium

John Curran Architects

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Sara Johnson, Hanley Wood Media

Project Name

Zhoushan Sports Stadium

Project Status


Year Completed



Zhoushan Putuo District Government


  • John Curran (design director)
  • Calvin Lim (project architect)
  • ZhuDan (architect)
  • A. Popescu (architect)
  • Simone Casati (interior designer)



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Project Description


Chinese New Year 2015 marked celebrations on Zhoushan Island for the reopening of their newly transformed 6,000 seat (10,000sqm) Sports Stadium - a Vision that reinvents it as a community attraction, and transforms it into a first class venue, fit for the first time to host National League Games.  The game of basketball has captured the imagination of the youth of China and taken hold like no other sport.  Zhoushan Island is the municipal centre of an archipelago of islands off the coast from Ningbo City, in Zhejiang Province, 200 kilometres south of Shanghai.

Since completing the ‘Yepaidang’ in 2010 - a waterfront promenade of 70 seafood restaurants lining Zhoushan’s south coast and attended by more than 2 million visitors annually, representing a 40% boost in revenue to the Island’s local economy, John Curran continues to work on a number of key regeneration projects spread across the archipelago.

Alongside a new fit-out of the Stadium interior, the design caters for a future new mezzanine floor of 2,200sqm, to be programmed with much needed public amenities (youth centre, restaurant & café), inserted inside a new ‘Lantern’ Skin draped around the perimeter of the Stadium, connected by an outdoor viewing terrace, opening up the venue for the first time to overlook the green parkland in which it is set.

John Curran Architects, a design studio registered in Ireland, with a presence in China for the past 12 years, promotes visions for Neighbourhood Building.  Zhoushan Island, inhabited by over 1 million people, is a dynamic and forward looking community.  This coming together sparked a close collaboration between client and designer to deliver an innovative design with a story and flavour that is Zhoushan - a place to attract, engage and inspire the youth of Zhoushan through sport. 

The original stadium structure was constructed in the early 1970’s, and was inspired by the ancient Chinese ‘Feng Shui’ philosophy - Feng Shui literally means ‘Wind & Water’ and promotes establishing a harmony of manmade structures within their environment, in particular in concert with the natural elements.

The Circular shape of the existing rotunda building, symbolising Heaven, was superimposed on the square - the large clear span roof, symbolising Earth.  However the reading of this concept was lost down through the years as the structure was altered with ad-hoc additions, giving the circular rotunda a cluttered appearance.  The Zhoushan Islanders also felt that the original aggressive looking ‘knife edge’ roof went against good ‘Feng Shui’ principles.  The concept for regenerating the stadium set about to rectify these anomalies, and at the same time add a new ingredient – the Lantern Mezzanine, that totally transforms the stadium from an inward looking introverted venue, into one that opens itself up to views of the surrounding green park in which the stadium sits as a pavilion.

The flowing lines of the Lantern, appearing as billowing sails captured in the archipelago wind, is inspired by the Islands great maritime heritage, recorded for centuries as being one of the great seafaring settlements in China.  The soft freeform Lantern floats beneath the hard edge geometry of the roof.  The roof itself was remodelled to remove the ‘Knife edge’ profile, reshaping it into a striking ‘barcode’, and a large skylight added to open up the interior to natural daylight.  John Curran, design principal of John Curran Architects commented “The once dark and inward looking stadium has been transformed into a glowing beacon in the park - clearly visible from the elevated highway arriving into the City from the main bridge crossing onto Zhoushan Island.  This gateway landmark advertises the new found confidence of a people with a rich maritime heritage, now looking to the future.
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