Zaha Hadid Architects recently completed CECEP’s eco-friendly headquarters in Shanghai but the firm has much more going on in China, as evidenced by its forthcoming International Football Centre in Xi’an’s Fengdong New District. Riffing on ZHA’s preference for undulating shapes, the wavy structure is intelligently designed with a layered structure that plays into the surrounding urban environment.

Open facades and nearby outdoor seating invite pre-game recreation and frame the snaking structure among the surrounding cityscape and Qinling Mountains. The International Football Centre’s striking shape isn’t mere eye candy, however; it’s also cleverly shaped to protect the digitally-drafted internal stadium from the mountain range’s winds while maximizing audience capacity. An opaque membrane further shields crowds from weather and sunlight but the open roof allows enough of the sun’s rays through to ensure the growth of the pitch’s live grass.

Behold the International Football Centre above, expected to be completed in 2023 to host the year’s AFC Asian Cup.

Earlier this summer, we beheld ZHA’s sustainably-minded Roatán Residence.

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