Aedas reveals designs for Zhuhai high-tech zone office-recreational complex

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Aedas, led by Executive Director Fiona Chen and Founder and Global Principal Designer Keith Griffiths, and Southwest Municipal Engineering Design & Research Institute of China, has won the design competition for Zhuhai North Area Water Purification Plant Phase II and Sports Centre in the High-tech Zone.

The High-tech Zone is prominently located and is a focal node for Zhuhai’s urban development. The design integrates mixed-use amenities such as transportation, sports, and parks while locating a water purification plant underneath.

According to Fiona Chen, “The design not only provides comprehensive infrastructural facilities but also improves the urban environment. Most importantly, it creatively utilizes the space of the water purification plant to the above-ground spaces, encouraging the city’s growth.”


The master plan optimizes the under- and above-ground space for multi-functionalities and incorporates the needs of the plant and the city. The project is zoned by the roads, with the office placed on the north and the sports amenities on the south. The whole complex is elevated to the second floor, covering the pipes and evacuation routes, while an elevated car park is designed on the first floor. It creates a spacious and people-centric communal space on the second floor. The water plant encourages the reuse of used water on public amenities to reduce water wastage and minimize the operation cost, reducing the water wastage to achieve high environmentally-friendly efficiency.

It is essential to integrate the functions vertically for both underground and aboveground to optimize the land use and inject vitality into the design. The design consists of two structures to achieve adoptability, flexibility, and efficiency, given the complicated underground water plant program. A public corridor connects the stadium and swimming pool in harmony with the surrounding landscape.


Keith Griffiths says, “It is more than a sports amenity – it is designed to provide a public realm to gather the community with urban fabric.” The main complex consists of a 3,100-seat stadium and a 1,500-seat swimming pool, creating a bold architectural form representing the energetic spirit and vibrant city atmosphere. Adopting silver-white aluminum panels, the façade glitters under the sun and creates a dynamic form as an urban icon, as the fins horizontally expand and span over the long façade. The stairs guide visitors to the stadium venues, offering an elegant entrance ambiance.

A public corridor connects the sports amenities, which include a stadium and a swimming pool, creating a spacious courtyard through an open layout for a grand entrance. The design features an umbrella-shaped canopy and a fluid architectural form, providing a multi-layered biophilic public space for socializing. The communication and connectivity are further strengthened by the stairs linking each floor to encourage circulation and collaboration.


The stadium has a capacity of 4,600 people, with fixed 1,600 seats and 1,500 flexible seats, consisting of a basketball court where competitions can be held. The swimming pool has 1,500 seats, including a 5021m swimming pool and a 2521m training pool. It is designed to be an entertainment and recreational venue for the city.

The design adopts a double-layered grid structure, maximizing the spatial use to provide a humane recreational space.

The two office towers are designed as the service center and operations management building, with a public plaza in between, placed on the north. The first floor of the management building connects itself to the museum, creating high connectivity between spaces of different venues. The louvered silver façade creates a vibrant architectural form that echoes the stadium. A bus terminal is designed to connect with the surroundings closely, enhancing the vitality and mobility.

Keith Griffiths says, “We create a pioneering mixed-use complex within a purification plant site, integrating greenery and urban fabric, and redefining a contemporary sustainable public infrastructure model.”

Project Info

Project: Zhuhai North Area Water Purification Plant Phase II and High-Tech Zone Sports Centre
Location: Zhuhai, China
Client: Zhuhai Huaxin Development and Construction Co., Ltd
Design Architect: Aedas in a joint venture with Southwest Municipal Engineering Design & Research Institute of China
Gross Floor Area: 153,143.86sq m
Design Directors: Fiona Chen, Executive Director; Keith Griffiths, Founder and Global Principal Designer

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