Wukesong Arena, Beijing Olympics 2008

Client People's Government of Haidian District, Beijing
Architects Burckhardt+Partner Architekten Generalplaner, Zürich
Planning 2002-2007
Execution 2007-2008
Construction cost ca. 500 Mio. USD
Services Structure and excavation:
Design phase
Tender documentation phase
Topics Structural steelworkSportIndustry/tradeConcrete construction

“Wukesong Arena” is the name of the cube that could have hosted the 2008 Olympic basketball tournament. The outer walls – measuring 70 metres by 130 metres – are designed as video screens for broadcasts to an audience outside. The sports arena itself is located in the lower part of the building complex. Nine storeys rise above it to accommodate shops and service businesses. The nine-storey supporting structure is designed as a spatial steel framework that spans the entire floor area, measuring 130 metres by 130 metres, without any supporting columns. Twenty seventy-metre-high pylons made of high-strength reinforced concrete form a peripheral load-bearing ring. The supporting structure of the sports arena with its entrances has the appearance of a reinforced concrete bowl-like construction. The outer façades and the twelve hyperboloid openings that allow light into the arena are constructed in glass. Large-calibre, approximately 50-m-deep bored piles form the foundations of the pylons. The building complex is secured against uplift by tension piles at regular intervals across the floor area.