zaha hadid completes london aquatics center
aug 15, 2011
zaha hadid completes london aquatics center

zaha hadid completes london aquatics center
all images © hufton + crow




construction for the ‘london aquatics centre’ for the london 2012 summer olympics by zaha hadid architects is now complete. capable of holding 17,500 individuals at one moment, this 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 cluster of concrete towers including the three meter springboards and diving platforms were formed and cast onsite.

main diving and swimming event pools




a pedestrian landbridge crosses over the training pool supported by a monolithic concrete roof. a repetitive pattern of penetrations within the construction form work 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.

olympic pools, diving platforms and stands


diving pool


diving platforms


holding area behind the platforms


monolithic concrete bases


view of pool and stands between the platform bases


view from platforms


glass enclosure viewing diving platforms




overhead voids provide views of the stands


training pool


training pool


voids within monolithic concrete ceilings allow natural illumination


concrete ceiling detail




project info:

program: aquatics centre for 2012 summer olympics and future use
olympic delivery authority
design zaha hadid architects
project director:
jim heverin
project architect:
glenn moorley, sara klomps
project team:
alex bilton, alex marcoulides, barbara bochnak, carlos garijo, clay shorthall, ertu erbay, george king, giorgia cannici, hannes schafelner, hee seung lee, kasia townend, nannette jackowski, nicolas gdalewitch, seth handley, thomas soo, tom locke, torsten broeder, tristan job, yamac korfali, yeena yoon
project team [competition]:
saffet kaya bekiroglu, agnes koltay, feng chen, gemma douglas, kakakrai suthadarat, karim muallem, marco vanucci, mariana ibanez, sujit nair




sports architects: s+p architects (london)
structural engineer:
ove arup & partners (london, newcastle)
ove arup & partners (london)
fire safety:
arup fire (london)
arup acoustics (london)
façade engineers:
robert-jan van santen associates (lille)
lighting design:
arup lighting (london)
kitchen design:
winton nightingale (london)
maintenance access:
reef (london)
temporary construction:
edwin shirley staging (london)
security consultant:
arup security (london)
av + it consultants:
mark johnson consultants (london)
access consultant:
access = design (london)
cdm co-coordinator:
total cdm solutions (cardigan)
breeam consultant:
ove arup & partners (london)
contractor: main contractor:
balfour beatty (uk)
timber sub-contractor:
finnforest merk gmbh
site area:
36,875 m2



total floor area:

basement: 3,725 m2
ground floor:
15,137 m2
first floor:
10,168 m2

3,725 m2
ground floor:
15,402 m2
first floor:
16,387 m2
seating area:
7,352 m2

footprint area:
legacy: 15,950 m2
21,897 m2

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