Zaha Hadid’s Aquatic Center Ready for London 2012 Olympics
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Zaha Hadid’s Aquatic Center Ready for London 2012 Olympics

Construction work has been completed on the new Aquatics Center in the Olympic Park, London, UK which will be used for the 2012 London Summer Olympics and Paralympic Games.

Designed by Pritzker Prize winner Zaha Hadid and developed by Balfour Beatty, Aquatic Center will be the venue for Swimming, Paralympic Swimming, Diving, Synchronised Swimming and the Aquatics discipline of the Modern Pentathlon. Built to accommodate 17,500 spectators during the games, (which will be reduced to 2,500 after the Games). It is located in the southern side of the Olympic Park in Stratford in east London, and will also serve as the main entrance to the games. It consists of 3 swimming pools, 2 of them measuring 50 meters each comprising moveable floors and separation booms, and a diving pool as well as a dry diving zone, all with an under-floor heating system. The 3 pools has the capacity to hold 10 million liters of water.

The Aquatic Center is made up of a steel structure weighing 9,000 tonnes while featuring a ceiling made of hardwood with 37,000 individual strips. The steel roof of the training pool takes the shape of a large land-bridge and will serve as the main pedestrian entrance to the Park. The roof, with dimensions of 160m x 90m at its widest point, is covered in aluminium and weighs over 3000 tonnes.

The arches in the roof are created using double-curvature geometry to form a structure of parabolic arches that define the curve of the roof. The final price tag on this facility came up to about £303 million.

The completion of the Aquatic Center marks the completion of all the main venues for the games exactly a year before the beginning of the games. Hats of for London being ready ahead of schedule!

[Sources: London 2012, Zaha Hadid Architects, The Guardian]

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