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Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Foshan Pearl Gymnasium, Foshan, China

Mitsuru Senda's gymnasium complets in Foshan
Foshan Pearl Gymnasium is a multi-functional sport facility that accommodates various activities such as official sport games, training, assembly and events as well as citizens’ leisure and exercise.

The climate of Foshan is sub-tropical climate with heavy rain, severe heat and humidity particularly between July and September. EDI considered all the facilities should be protected from such severe climate by shelter and determined to employ multistage overhanging ring truss system. This structural system is characterized by the main frame of horizontal rings. Vertical members to support rings are arranged alternately. For additional reinforcement, diagonal bracing are arranged on the surface of the domes. The slits between horizontal rings ensure light and outside air coming through. Because horizontal rings acts as eaves, this creates dynamic architectural impression with strong contrast of light and shade. This gymnasium is consisted of Main Arena, Sub-Arena and Citizens’ Arena. At the lower level, 3 ring domes are combined by contour shaped rings. Therefore, 3 arenas are organically and functionally linked together.

By providing water spaces surrounding the gymnasium, cool air is introduced inside the domes. EDI attempts the entire reliance on natural ventilation using multiple windows fit between the rings, except for the minimum use of mechanical cooling during hot and humid July to September. Natural lighting is controlled by automatic blind installed between rings.

With silver aluminum dome roofs like pearls, which also act as heat reflection, this sports dome stands as a symbol of the city and as an environmental architecture that put stress on light, ventilation and temperature in response to local climate.
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