In pictures: designs for Zaha Hadid Architects's futuristic stadium in Xi'an

The saddle-shaped football stadium in China’s Xi'an seats 60,000 and will also host concerts, cultural events and more

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Zaha Hadid Architects has revealed the designs for China's newest football stadium.

Visitors going to China's Xi'an will soon have another landmark to stop at. The Xi’an International Football Centre is a 60,000-seat stadium being built in the city designed by Zaha Hadid Architects, the company of the late Iraqi-born British architect renowned for her fluid designs.

The mammoth saddle-shaped stadium is located in the ancient Chinese capital, which was once a key point on the Silk Road route. When completed, it will give visitors encompassing views over the city and to Qing Mountain.

It is set to be completed by 2023, when it will be part of China's hosting efforts in the next Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup. The last AFC took place in the UAE.

As well as hosting international sporting competitions, national and international matches will be played here, as well as domestic league games and youth training academies. Located in the city's Fengdong business district, the structure will also be used as an entertainment site for Xi'an, with concerts and cultural events scheduled to take place within the grounds.

Zaha Hadid Architects has also released the design details for the public spaces, gardens and dining facilities that will line the stadium's terraces.

Sporting the curves and smooth lines synonymous with Hadid’s work, the stadium will be accessible via direct links on the city’s metro system. It will also have VIP and VVIP entrances, fountain-lined courtyards and shrubbery-lined terraces for the ultimate game day experience.

The stadium in Xi'an is located in what has always been an important destinations for Silk Road travellers. Courtesy Zaha Hadid Architects
The stadium in Xi'an is located in what has always been an important destinations for Silk Road travellers. Courtesy Zaha Hadid Architects

The building's sweeping walls are designed to protect spectators from the strong winds typical in Xi'an's winters, while a huge circular cut-out allows natural light to filter inside the space to help the grass grow on the pitches below. The saddle shaped seating bowl is designed to optimise the view for all of those seated in the stadium.

Xi'an has a population of nine million and is home to two professional football clubs. The city is the ancient capital of China and has long been an important crossroads for people from throughout China, Central Asia and the Middle East. In the global arena of football, the Xi'an International Football Centre is set to continue this tradition when it welcomes visitors from across the region in 2023.

The stadium is the latest in China's football-stadium building and renovation spree, building speculation that the country will bid to host the World Cup as early as 2030.