Designed by internationally acclaimed architect Zaha Hadid, the breathtaking Aquatics Centre is one of the permanent venues specially constructed for London 2012.The London Aquatics Centre is an indoor facility Measuring over 200 metres long with a 22,000 metre squared footprint, the centre is the second largest main venue after the Olympic Stadium, and will form the 'gateway’ to the Games with two 50-metre (160-foot) swimming pools and a 25-metre (82-foot) diving pool in Olympic Park at Stratford, London, it was one of the main venues of the 2012 Summer Olympics and the 2012 Summer Paralympics. It will host swimming, diving, synchronised swimming and the swimming discipline of the modern pentathlon.
Once the Games are completed, the Aquatics Park will transform from an Olympic venue with a capacity to hold 17,500, into a 2,500 capacity venue providing two 50 metre swimming pools with moveable floors and separation booms, a diving pool and dry diving area for community and events use. As well as boasting sustainable and recycled materials in its construction, a key feature of its sustainability design will be the venue’s legacy. After significant modification the center is due to open to the public in 2014.
It was designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Zaha Hadid in 2004 before London won the bid for the 2012 Summer Olympics. The Aquatics Centre is planned on an orthogonal axis that is perpendicular to the Stratford City Bridge. All three pools are aligned on this axis. The training pool is located under the bridge with the competition and diving pools located within the large pool hall enclosed by the roof. The overall strategy is to frame the base of the pool hall as a podium connected to the Stratford City Bridge
The Aquatic Centre addresses the main public spaces implicit within the Olympic Park and Stratford City planning strategies: the east-west connection of the Stratford City Bridge and the continuation of the Olympic Park along the canal. pedestrian access to the Olympic Park via the east-west bridge (called the Stratford City Bridge) passes directly over the Centre as a primary gateway to the Park. Several smaller pedestrian bridges will also connect the site to the Olympic Park over the existing canal.
The Aquatics Centre is designed with an inherent flexibility to accommodate 17,500 spectators for the London 2012 Games in ‘Olympic’ mode while also providing the optimum spectator capacity of 2000 for use in ‘Legacy’ mode after the Games. The centre was built alongside the Water Polo Arena, and opposite the Olympic Stadium on the opposite bank of the Waterworks River.
The architectural concept of the London Aquatic Centre is inspired by the fluid geometries of water in motion, creating spaces and a surrounding environment that reflect the riverside landscapes of the Olympic Park.
The site is 45 metres (148 feet) high, 160 metres (520 feet) long and 80 metres (260 feet) wide. The complex has a 50m competition pool, a 25m competition diving pool and a 50m warm-up pool. The 50m pool is 3 metres deep, like the one in the Beijing National Aquatics Center, in order to be fast. Its floor can be moved to reduce the depth. There are also moveable booms that allow its size to be changed. The diving pool has platform boards at heights of 3m, 5m, 7.5m and 10m and three 3m springboards. For the television coverage of the Olympics, the pools are also equipped with innovative cameras in order to present the action from multiple angles.
An undulating roof sweeps up from the ground as a wave – enclosing the pools of the Centre with a unifying gesture of fluidity, while also describing the volume of the swimming and diving pools. The wave-like roof is stated to be 11,200 square feet (1,040 m2), a reduction from the...