Beijing Olympics: National Aquatics Center
National Aquatics Center
The National Aquatics Center in the Olympic Park, Beijing near to the National Stadium opened in 2008 and is a state-of-the art Olympic swimming pool.
Nick-named the "Water Cube" ([H], the venue has a permanent capacity of 6,000, which can be raised to 11,000 for special events.
The outside of the building is coated with ETFE (Ethylene Tetrafluoroethylene), a kind of tough plastic which gives the impression of giant soap bubbles. The Allianz Arena, a football stadium in Munich also used this concept on its exterior surface.
The design competition was won by PTW Architects from Australia in partnership with engineering giants Arup, and China State Construction Design International (CCDI) and Arup. Construction work began on the massive rectangular, energy efficient structure in 2003.
The heating, cooling and ventilation systems in the building are state-of-the art to save energy and maintain a pleasant interior environment.
After the 2008 Olympic Games, the building will become a multi-function fitness and leisure center as well as a world-class pool.
The building will be illuminated at night and give off a fantastic translucent blue color.
The National Aquatics Center has three pools and will stage the Olympic swimming, diving and synchronized swimming events.