The National Sliding Centre at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games
Yanqing District, Beijing
Beijing Beikong Jing'ao Construction Co.
China Architecture Design & Research Group
The National Sliding Center is located at the southern foot of Xiaohaituo Mountain in the Yanqing District of Beijing. Designed by Li Xinggang, the Chief Designer of the Beijing National Stadium, the project featured a red cedar roof that covered 1974 meters, with 16 curves that had different angles and slopes. The track included a vertical drop of 121 meters, equivalent to 47 floors high, and a maximum design speed of 134.4 kilometres per hour.
The bobsleigh, sometimes referred to as F1 racing on ice, is one of the fastest competitions of the Winter Olympic Games and covers 10 medal competitions. The nature of the facility made it one of the hardest to design and construct, as the layout of the project defined the racetrack of the competition. As the first bobsleigh track in China, it hosted the events for bobsleigh, skeleton and luge in Beijing Winter Olympics, and will host those competitions for the Paralympic Games in March.
For the selection of materials, Liu Ziqi, the professional designer of the National Sliding Centre, said “the National Sliding Centre is a Mountain Forest Architecture, so we chose materials that are more suitable for Mountain Forest Architecture to fit the venue’s echo.” The sunshade roof of the track adopted a single-sided overhanging steel and wood hybrid structure, achieving a balance of traditional wood structures and modern steel structures. This was used to ensure that each section of the track is not affected by direct sunlight, to protect the racetrack from exposure to the weather. The wooden beams used in this project were all made from Glue Laminated Timber (GLT) supplied by Suzhou Crown Homes, with the largest section being over 15 meters long and over 3 meters high, and the thinnest single piece measuring 120 mm. Given the complexity of the design, almost every component was made with a different size or shape.
The National Sliding Center will be a facility for ongoing professional training and competition for athletes from across the world. It will also provide the public with a unique experience of winter sports, to help promote the development of winter sports in China. China’s “snow and ice industry” is estimated to have expanded from 270 billion yuan (CAD $54.2 billion) in 2015 to about 600 billion yuan (CAD $120.4 billion) in 2020.