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World of Sports

World of Sports


Zaha Hadid Architects, London, Great Britain

Extract from entrant’s explanation

The horizontal quality of the building volume is characterised by special structural torques which define the lavish external spaces with elegant parabolic curves. Brand values, such as performance, passion, integrity and diversity, are interpreted and manifested through the shape of the building.

The main entrance is located on southeast side opposite the neighbouring Southeast Office.

The diverse range of requirements for building use are organised in a clear triad of main components. The building constitutes a synthesis of the catering, meetings/events and promoshop function areas which - although connected in a communal envelope - can and should function autonomously. The geometric solution is rigid and compact but has also been formulated to provide a high level of fluidity.

The food court is a main hub on the north side and and opens out onto a partly roofed-over terrace with views out into the open landscape on all sides. The space has a distinct quality of light and lightness and is zoned into different islands in order to create room for different activities. The café bar with a service point and co-working space forms a focus in the recessed entrance courtyard which connects with the food court and the space for meetings/events across the length of the generously sized glass facade.

The multipurpose hall proposed for the south side takes the form of a column-free flexible space which can be further subdivided into three equal sections using an acoustically efficient folding partition wall system and yet can also be opened wide to the outside and towards the entrance foyer. The promoshop areas are located on the southwest side and have their own prestigious entrance as well as a structurally identifiable volume. The promoshop’s main space on the top floor enjoys the full sculptural impact of the underside of the roof and is fitted with top quality materials for displaying products to a suitable standard.

Extract from minutes of jury meeting

From an urban planning point of view, the design draws its strength from a topographically charged 3D structure that enters into an exciting dialogue in context with the new Southeast office building.

Developed from an initially linear shell structure, the internal function areas are achieved logically and clearly. The deformations of the structural elements undertaken in a second design step respond coherently to the stated spatial dimensions and volumes and provide obvious access routes and traffic flows. Dedicated areas and function areas are well-organised despite the complex roof topography and provide a diverse and spatially differentiated range of zones that can also be used to best effect in parallel.

The design of the Food court area and the related secondary rooms reveals a level of professional experience, although too few seats appear to have been provided.

The delivery and technical services areas are of an adequate size, and only a few obstacles still have to be overcome with respect to larger HGVs and various uses of the multipurpose hall.

The proposal to enclose the external access appears to be counter-productive and hardly suitable for the design.

On the one hand, the 3D architectural concrete landscape placed on the disciplined floor plan underlines the inner zonal structure; however, on the other hand it also raises issues for the jury in respect of its suitability and the identity it bestows for the sponsor when the entry is compared with the advertised Space Programme.

The author has put a great deal of practical thought into the fire safety aspects which provides an excellent basis for further discussion.

Overall, this is an exciting contribution to the design competition and is worthy of further discussion; it addresses the key points impressively but the architectural sculpture has raised issues among members of the jury.


Zaha Hadid Architects, London, GB:
Zaha Hadid, Patrik Schumacher, Leo Alves, Ken Bostock, Torsten Broeder, Thomas Jensen, Maren Klasing, Anat Stern, Yifan Zhang

Special Experts:

  • Statics: Eckersley O’Callaghan, London, GB
  • Building Services and Energy Planning: Atelier Ten, London, GB
  • Costs: Höhler+Partner, Aachen, DE
  • Fire Prevention: BPK Frankfurt, Frankfurt/Main, DE