AFL Architects has been commissioned to design major new sports and leisure facilities for the city of Rizhao in Eastern China, including the region’s first esports arena.

The designs, for three sites across the city, will be part of a larger masterplan, encompassing a 12,000-capacity stadium, the esports arena, a multi-sport venue, and hotel/retail developments. Plans also include academy accommodation, community spaces and professional training facilities.

Working directly with a commercial joint venture client and partnering with the Kehua Sport organisation, the Rizhao projects will be AFL’s third commission with Kehua Sport and sixth in China. AFL’s first esports arena will have a capacity of between 3,000 and 4,000.

AFL Architects director, Phil Osborne, said: “We are thrilled to further develop our relationship with Kehua Sport on this major new series of sports facilities. The esports arena in particular is an exciting and challenging commission. Esport fans demand the same exceptional atmosphere as those following any sport, and this commission follows intensive research and development by our architects to design bespoke arenas for this growing market.”

Designs for the masterplan have started immediately, with a view to site works commencing in Spring 2020.

The announcement continues a busy month for AFL. It recently released the final renders for a new CNY2bn (£222m/€259m/$285m) training complex in Dalian, China, and was appointed to carry out a design and operational review of the new stadium for Scottish Premiership football club Aberdeen.

Images: AFL Architects