zaha hadid completes london aquatics center
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.

zaha hadid completes london aquatics center 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.

zaha hadid completes london aquatics center olympic pools, diving platforms and stands


zaha hadid completes london aquatics center diving pool


zaha hadid completes london aquatics center diving platforms


zaha hadid completes london aquatics center holding area behind the platforms


zaha hadid completes london aquatics center monolithic concrete bases


zaha hadid completes london aquatics center view of pool and stands between the platform bases


zaha hadid completes london aquatics center view from platforms


zaha hadid completes london aquatics center glass enclosure viewing diving platforms


zaha hadid completes london aquatics center stairs


zaha hadid completes london aquatics center overhead voids provide views of the stands


zaha hadid completes london aquatics center training pool


zaha hadid completes london aquatics center training pool


zaha hadid completes london aquatics center voids within monolithic concrete ceilings allow natural illumination


zaha hadid completes london aquatics center concrete ceiling detail




project info:

program: aquatics centre for 2012 summer olympics and future use client: olympic delivery authority architect: 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) services: ove arup & partners (london) fire safety: arup fire (london) acoustics: 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:

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

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

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

  • little bit gloomy…

    some of the spaces looks like sad spaces of the 60s and 70s…

    the main swimming pool cileing looks like a monester who is going to fall on the ground in a moment..!!

    Ahmed elDessouki says:
  • I agree – the coffered ceiling doesn’t work any better (probably worse, in fact) than the standard Brutalist 60’s ice cube tray despite beng tarted up and that ceiling in the main hall is downright oppresive

    the diving platforms are damn fine, but you can’t for an entire project hang your hat on that

    I’ll bet the renderings were more compelling than the results

    dbkii says:
  • Its so refreshing to see a Zaha building demonstrating functional elegance instead of pure eye candy. The diving boards are delicately expressed and the training pools have a pleasant atmosphere.

    JC says:
  • Looks similar to Oscar Niemeyers’ TWA terminal.
    One of her more elegant designs. Once the temporary ‘wings’ are removed post games…

    Pg says:
  • does it have an outside ?

    yes its yes says:
  • Appologies, i meant Eero Saarinens’ TWA terminal. Doh.

    Pg says:
  • Brutal and breathtaking

    wow says:
  • wow, awesome! i’d love to be there! that’s incredible!

    carrotsaregoodforyourhealth says:
  • Love everything except the main pool ceiling. Yikes! Looks like it is caving in. Not a happy place.

    Rafael T says:
  • burn it down……….

    bff3g says:
  • awesome.
    not sure how well it would burn though…

    G says:
  • Main pool ceiling is frightening. Feel like it’s pushing me down. Looming and dangerous.

    Mr. Briano says:
  • The aquatic centre at the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth games was better I think.

    John Doe says:
  • One thing that disappoints me is that one of the greatest parts of the sporting event experience is being part of the crowd and being able to see other members of the crowd. Spectators at the top of the stands may be able to see the whole pool, but they cannot see the people sitting on the opposite side.

    bryan says:
  • I think the main pool’s roof form is beautiful, but its overwhelming because it is so dark and such a contrast with the rest of the space. The most successful thing about this project are the openings for natural light. We are starting to see more of that with community centers and pool design.

    whitewave says:
  • Love this monumentality of the concrete in the interior, and the diving platforms bur agree with the others that she left some unnecessary extra nurbs slip in that ceiling. It’s somehow reminiscent of Foster’s new Bejing airport, with cantilivered stripes, but the curving there is much more softer and relaxed and the lighting evenly distributed while the effect here is the opposite; it’s agitated and somehow more complicated than needed.

    m25 says:
  • competition must not have “happy”. nowadays??the future coliseum,ain’t it. an oppression swimming pool ain’t nothing better for the sake of sport.architecture mimics life 🙂

    !emalosho says:
  • lucky for us that the water is horizontal

    iftach says:

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