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Aquatics Centre, London, England

Pritzker Winner Zaha Hadid Makes Her Mark at the 2012 Olympics

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The two wings are temporary, but this sweeping structure is a permanent site for aquatic activities in London. Find facts below.
Aerial view of the Olympic Park showing the Aquatics Centre. Picture taken on 16 April 2012.

Aquatics Centre Designed by Pritzker Winner Zaha Hadid Architects for 2012 London Olympics

Press photo of Aquatic Centre by Zaha Hadid ©LOCOG courtesy of London 2012 media center.

Iraq-born Pritzker Laureate Zaha Hadid created a dramatic venue for the 2012 London Olympic games.

Aquatics Centre, London, United Kingdom:

  • Time Frame: 2005 – 2011; construction from July 2008 - July 2011
  • Size: 36,875 square meters (396,919 square feet)
  • Seating: 17,500 for Olympics; 2,500 permanent
  • Footprint Area: 21,897 square meters for Olympics (235,697 square feet); 15,950 square meters permanent (171,684 square feet)
  • Roof: 160 meters (525 feet) long and up to 80 meters (262 feet) wide (longer single span than Heathrow Terminal 5)
  • Pools (180,000+ tiles): 50 meter competition pool; 25 meter competition diving pool; 50 meter warm-up pool; warm-up area for divers

Architect's Statement:

"A concept inspired by the fluid geometry of water in motion, creating spaces and a surrounding environment in sympathy with the river landscape of the Olympic Park. An undulating roof sweeps up from the ground as a wave, enclosing the pools of the Centre with its unifying gesture."—Zaha Hadid Architects

London 2012 Statement:

"The venue's roof proved to be one of the most complex engineering challenges of the Olympic Park big build. Its skeletal structure rests on just two concrete supports at the northern end of the building and a supporting 'wall' at its southern end. This steel framework was initially constructed on temporary supports, before the entire 3,000-tonne structure was lifted up 1.3m in a single movement and successfully placed back down on to its permanent concrete supports."—Official London 2012 website

Learn More:
Zaha Hadid Architecture
Top 10 Olympic Venues of 2012
Twelve Green Ideas at the London 2012 Olympics

Sources: Zaha Hadid Architects, London Aquatics Centre; and London 2012 Aquatics Centre [websites accessed June 24, 2012]

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