Zaha Hadid’s Fancy ‘Aquatics Centre’ for the 2012 Olympics


What do you get when you ask a Pritzker Prize-winning architect like Zaha Hadid to design your pool? An elegant, undulating structure that’s surprising delicate for something that’s largely made out of concrete — and the perfect home for the swimming, diving, synchronized swimming, and water polo events at the London 2012 Olympic Games. According to Design Boom, the £269m centre — whose wave-shaped roof weighs more than 3,000 tons — can hold up to 17,500 spectators at a time and contains more than 850,000 tiles throughout its pools, changing facilities, and floors. “The aim was to do a pool for the legacy,” Hadid has said. “It was very important that this project had a long-term, balanced effect.” Click through to get a closer look at the recently completed structure, and let us know in the comments how you think it stacks up against the far more bubbly Beijing Water Cube.

© Hufton and Crow

Main diving and swimming event pools. © Hufton and Crow

Diving platforms. © Hufton and Crow

Monolithic concrete bases. © Hufton and Crow

View from platforms. © Hufton and Crow

Glass enclosure viewing diving platforms. © Hufton and Crow

Training pool. © Hufton and Crow