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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Main Stadium World Games 2009, Kaohsiung, Taiwan

Ito's Main Stadium for World Games 2009 gives surprisingly grand space for flying disc
It may be the lesser known, younger and more obscure kin of the Olympic Games, but the World Games, which concluded last week, has at least made an impact in the architecture world with world renowned Toyo Ito's Main Stadium acting as a lasting legacy of its 2009 visit to Taiwan.

For ten days the city of Kaohsiung was host to 4,800 participants from 105 countries displaying their prowess across 31 sports including Tenpin Bowling, Tug of War, Trampolinning and Tchoukball. In total 12 sporting arenas were utilised and while others received renovation rights, Ito's stadium was a pure construct of the games. Taking just two years to build, the 40,000 seat capacity stadium is not only an international standard soccer, and flying disc arena, but in the utilisation of 8,844 solar panels, and of 100% reusable materials, all made in Taiwan, the stadium is a lasting beacon for sustainability.

The solar panels on the stadium roof generate 1.14 million kWh of electricity per year, reducing 660 tons of annual carbon dioxide output. Even now as the building takes a well-deserved nap following the games, its body continues to produce this energy which can be sold making the structure a self-funding venue.

Occupying 19 hectares of land the building itself is a significant landmark and Ito has ensured its iconic status through his unique design which presents a stadium unfurling to open at one end. Surrounding the structure is public space in abundance with sports parks, bicycle paths and lush vegetation ensuring the Main Stadium will be regarded not as the novelty venue of a novelty sporting event, but a serious contender in event architecture.

Niki May Young
News Editor

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