The construction for the Aquatic Centre' for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London by Zaha Hadid Architects is capable of holding 17,500 individuals at one moment. The facility will be the venue for the swimming, diving, synchronized swimming and water polo events.
Sheltering the sports events, athletes and supporters is an aluminum clad steel roof which spans 160 meters in length and 90 meters at its widest point. Three substantial concrete columns effortlessly support the 3,000 ton sweeping overhead structure.The double curvature parabolic structure visually evokes the form of an undulating wave. On the interior, 850,000 tiles surface the pools, changing facilities and and floors.
The concrete towers including the three meter springboards and diving platforms were formed and cast onsite. A pedestrian landbridge crosses over the training pool supported by a monolithic concrete roof. A repetitive pattern of penetrations within the construction formwork generate voids for skylights allowing daylight to uniformly illuminate the space. Ground granulated blast furnace slag, a by-product of steel production, was recycled and added as an aggregate to reduce the necessary concrete content by 50%.
The pools' collective volume is ten million liters of water, redirecting excess pool water to be used as toilet water within the restrooms. Once the games are completed, the facilities capacity will be reduced to 2,500 individuals while swimming pools, moveable floors and practice diving areas will be added for use by the community.