Light Thread

  It is the international design proposal competition for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Wrestling Arena.
  During the Olympic Games, the wrestling arena has a 10,000-person capacity. 
  After the Olympic Games, 4,000 temporary seats can be taken out to and the interior can be
  refitted with three arenas, a pool, and 6000 seats to transform the space into a gymnasium
  The site is on the campus of the Chinese Agriculture University and after the Olympic Games, 
  this building will come into the possession of the Chinese Agriculture University. 
  We sought to create a condition that allows the special requirements of the Olympic Wrestling
  Arena and the functional features of a building for the Chinese Agriculture University to both be
  fulfilled in a single construction.

  Light Thread
  "Light Thread" forms this architecture.  
  "Light Thread" symbolizes a pulse of multiple lives. This innovative idea brings a completely new
  architectural form by its lighting and illuminating effect and by its construct method, which
  nobody has ever seen in the world. “Light Thread” is cut out three-dimensionally from a
  rectangular concrete body. This quite rational, beautiful, simple and strong method creates
  architecture economically.

  This architecture is a forest.
  “Light Thread” covers the whole architecture. According to a lighting condition, some “Light
  Thread” makes an area of ceramic printed glass with various characteristic patterns on it, 
  which introduces sunlight to inside. It seems as like a nature wraps the architecture in grass with
  its flowers and fruits. Its complex appearance reminds an eloquent life of plants. 
  We can find an amazingly eloquent light from there. 
  As like a light in forest this architecture is luxuriance.

  Form inspiring Imagination
  “Light Thread” is an abstract form, which inspires various imaginations.
  This form expresses a feeling of plant life and the physical motion of athletes. 
  At the same time it realizes a symbolic character as a facility for the Olympics and also as a
  main facility of China Agricultural University. 

  【Imaginings by curvy slits 1】

  Image of Forest 

  “Light Thread” expresses the pregnant working of nature in four seasons.
  -The sprouts, the fresh green, the murmur of a stream, the birds on trees, and the butterflies in
  -The fruits, the blooming trees, the fluttering leaves, the clouds at dusk, the fairly, the plenty of 
  bunches, and the fern in summer.
  -The red leaves, the ears of rice, the beans, the color of red and yellow, the variety of shade, 
  the copious crops, the fields, the falling leaves, and the mushrooms in autumn.
  -The groves, the ivies, the beaches, the rainy nights, the snow, the mist, the fog, the stars, 
  the crystals, the bulbs, the roots in winter.

  【Imaginings by curvy slits 2】

  Image of Plants

  This architecture is a tube thrusting up toward the sky.
  The form of this architecture expresses a power welled from the earth and the roots. 
  A bounding power of the plants growing up from the earth into the sky. 
  A tube thrusting up toward the sky. Bounding China. China thrusting up from the earth toward the
  sky. Besides having a stable base, this form has its origin in plants, whose roots have a strength
  to grow taking root in the earth, which sprout in great force, and which thrust spontaneously up
  toward the sky.

  【Imaginings by curvy slits 3】

  Image of Sports

  “Light Thread” expresses the feeling of pulse in wrestling games. Besides the wrestling games,
  “Light Thread” expresses various sports of the Olympics. 
  It shows a sketch of the pulse of various sports, such as a step of dance, strength in athletes’
  leg, swimming, badminton, volleyball, basketball, tennis, a swing of table tennis, jumping, flying,
  biceps, stretching and flexibility of the martial arts. 

  【Imaginings by curvy slits 4】

  Image of Wrestling

  A conceptual origin of “Light Thread” is in the holds of wrestling and its physical motion. 
  To create monumentality as a wrestling arena for the Olympics, this architecture abstracts a
  physical motion, intertwining arms, legs and bodies of wrestling games. A power of this great wall
  with “Light Thread” functions as a structural wall that memorializes the Olympics wrestling arena.

  Light Wall

  This light wall functions as a structural wall.
  The dynamic “Light Thread” on this architecture is made by a flat bar type steel that fits within a
  wall thickness of 400mm. It composes a very stable triangular lattice with sewing the slit. 
  By this method “Light Thread” forms wall structure while keeping the flexibility of direction. 
  And it enables to realize various design of the slit in a huge architectural scale. 
  This structural system is a very unique one in the world.

  Luminous Structure

  “Light Thread” over this architecture is a light tube.
  “Light Thread” leads daylight to the interior space, which is as like a play of sunlight through the
  trees. In the night it radiates light by a progressive light-up system. 
  The light tube recalls the physical motion pulse of wrestling games. 
  It glows as a luminous structure, namely lighting wire frame.

  【Structure System 1】

  "Thin-walled spatial structure" with the three-dimensional effect

  This architecture has "Thin-walled spatial structure"
  "Light Thread" runs over the whole architecture randomly. The exterior wall of the architecture
  seems to be cut in pieces. But "Light Thread" stitches up the exterior wall as one structural
  The roof is made from a concrete as same as the wall, so that "Light Thread" can wrap over the
  whole architecture continuously. It enables the three dimensional expansion of "Light Thread"
  Four sides of the exterior wall, ground and roof establish a structural characteristic (three
  dimensional effect) as one solidified body. By this effect the architecture can be realized by a
  quite thin, light and reasonable structural body.

  "Semi-rigid parabolic truss" optimizing the three-dimensional effect

  The biggest structural span of this architecture is 144×90m. 
  A vertical structural element to support this large space is nothing but the wall of "Thin-walled
  spatial structure" We adopt "Semi-rigid parabolic truss" optimizing a rigidity of four sidewalls, 
  so that the roof span of 90m can be realized efficiently and economically.
  "Semi-rigid parabolic truss" is composed of concrete slabs to share a horizontal rigidity and a
  parabolic truss to share a roof load.

  【Structure System 2】

  Structure of "Light Thread" 

  "Light Thread" is made up by a flat bar type steel that fits within a wall thickness of 400mm,
  which stitches up a triangular lattice. The lattice components are anchored in a concrete. 
  The anchor plate covers wall headers of "Light Thread" which is used also as a formwork plate to
  improve construction efficiency.

  Structural Design for Swift Construction

  This architecture is designed considering a swift construction.
  The wall of "Thin-walled spatial structure" and interior skeleton are made of cast-in-place
  concrete. The roof beams are made of steel. Therefore, a production of shop drawings for a steel
  work and a fittings work a manufacturing in factories can be done during a construction period of
  cast-in-place concrete. The construction period can be used quite efficiently to contribute to a
  perfect preparation for the Olympics.

  Economy by the three-dimensional effect 

  A utilization of the three-dimensional effect by each structural component contributes to design a
  long span structure economically. 
  The structure design of this architecture is considered that. We optimize a big stretching rigidity
  of structural planes (roof and walls) that are arranged on different directions effectively, so that
  the three-dimensional effect can work to increase economic efficiency.

  Rectangular Body

  Though this architecture has a compact rectangular body, it realizes an absolutely new landscape
  with “Light Thread” over it.
  With curvy slits on its rectangular volume of 144mx90mx19m this architecture matches with the
  neighboring campus buildings in view from a far distance. And also it realizes a powerful symbolic
  character in view from a near distance.

  Innovative Façade by “Light Thread”
  This architecture has an abstract form with random crossing curves on a rectangular body. 
  Its façade has a dynamic, unique and amazing strength.
  With its strong ness a lithe form of “Light Thread” symbolizes a feeling of plant life growing from
  ground to sky, a pulse of sports and an energy of the Olympics, which recalls an image of the
  dynamism, growth, development, and breakthrough of China in the future.

  Gymnasium with Four Fields

  This architecture is a gymnasium of “4 + 4”.
  There are four arenas and four halls inside. Four arenas are namely a main arena, a sub arena, 
  a swimming pool and a martial arts arena. Four halls are namely a dance studio, a training room,
  a music room and a conference hall. The architecture has an universal rectangular plan. 
  It enables a rational coordination between various functions during the Olympics and the
  Paralympics economically. And also, it will realize long life facility usability as a proud Cultural
  Gymnasium of China Agricultural University. Moreover, almost of the arenas and the halls are
  located on ground floor level, which enables to use the gymnasium together with the outer

  Dramatic Interior Space

  “Light Thread” creates a dramatic space with a calm and tender daylight crossing inside.
  The interior space of this architecture is luxurious as like a forest with the play of
  sunlight through the trees.


  The planning of this architecture is based on a simple rectangle, so that it is easy to convert
  interior space into other functions. It is a universal design.
  It’s simple rectangular planning fits justly with a characteristic of a wrestling court, moreover of a
  swimming pool and of rectangular court for sub arena. There is no lost space in this planning. 
  It enables easy functional conversion after the Olympics. And it economically realizes a multitude
  of uses as a multifunctional gymnasium after the Olympics.

  Three Dimensional Figures in Rectangular Body

  This architecture is quite unique in its characteristic “Light Thread” that spreads randomly from
  wall to roof, from roof to wall and from wall to wall. This architecture creates completely new
  space, which has never been found in the simple box architectures yet completed.

  Five Sides Facade

  The project site is located in the center of east campus of China Agricultural University. 
  In east campus, high-rise buildings are planed to be built on the perimeter, and low-rise buildings
  are planed to be built in the center. This architecture is “visible” from five directions, such as
  east, west, south, north and from above.
  Therefore, this architecture prepares beautiful façades of “Light Thread” on east, on west, on
  south, on north and on the roof.


  In front of this architecture we design “Leaf Plaza” as a new central plaza of the campus. 
  The project site for this architecture is located in a high densely campus area. 
  It is quite important to achieve a good continuity of architectural design between the surroundings
  and this gymnasium. “Leafscape” design method of this project enables that.
  “Leafscape” is a landscape design using a motive of abstract curvy line patterns, the same as the
  wall and the roof of the architecture. “Leafscape” is formed of a pattern of big arcs.
  This pattern expresses fallen “leaves” on the earth.
  A landscape of this architecture is soils, roots, and water, which bring up a forest, that is to say
  earth. It is abstracted “Leaf” which comes down on the earth. 
  The landscape of abstracted “Leaf” becomes a center of the east campus. According to the
  master plan concept of the campus of China Agricultural University, high-rise building areas are
  arranged on the perimeter of the campus. Therefore, the roof and the landscape of this
  architecture can be seen well from the high-rise buildings. Beautiful scenery of “Leafscape” in the
  east campus with beautiful woods of gingko, maple tree, white birch, and oak etc. in a image of
  the forest mingled in the universal rectangle shaped architecture is in harmony with a shine on 
  月川 river.

  Data:「Light Thread」

  • International invited competition:Second Prize
  • Total floor area:30,000㎡
  • Collaboration with KAWAGUCHI & ENGINEERS