One of the key projects of the London 2012 Olympic Games is Olympic Aquatics Centre, another flagship project signed by British award winning architect Zaha Hadid. Finished the year before the Olympic Games, in 2011, the Aquatic Centre is a stunning construction that lives up to everyone’s expectations and is ready to welcome the world’s athletes.
Its imposing appearance with distinctive architecture gives the impression of an organic creation due to its perfect harmony between the whole ensemble and every detail in part. It impresses by the exterior inspired by the fluid geometry of water in motion which seems taken from a SF movie, as well as the ultra modern interior. The curved roof sweeps up from the ground as a wave, being the dominant element of the entire building. It measures at 160m long and up to 80 m wide. The only elements of support are two concrete pillars 54 meters away on one side, and a wall, all concrete, on the opposite side.
During the Olympics, the aquatic center will be the gateway for most visitors who are lucky enough to fly to London for the ceremonies.. Caught between a canal and railway construction link to the rest of the Olympic park by a bridge that passes over them, crossing the train tracks to the Stratford area and the rest water sports facilities. Located in the south of the Olympic Park, the Olympic Aquatics Centre will be used for swimming, diving and synchronised swimming 2012 Summer Olympics events. Thus, it host an 50m warm-up pool for the competitors, 50m competition pool, 25m diving pool. The three pools are sealed with 180,000 tiles and hold a total of 10 million litres of water.
During the games the venue will have a capacity of 17,500. The two temporary “wings” will be removed post-games reducing the capacity to a regular 2,500, with an additional 1,000 seats available for major events.
Photos: © Hufton + Crow, Zaha Hadid Architects.
Architect: Zaha Hadid Architects
Location: South-east corner of the Olympic Park , London, United Kingdom
Construction time: 2005-2011
Sport: Diving, Swimming, Synchronised Swimming, Modern Pentathlon