It’s not often that completed structures look better than their design sketches, however, this is absolutely the case with Zaha Hadid’s latest creation. Only the London-based architect could make a swimming pool look this sleek and sexy.
Hadid’s Aquatics Centre will be the trademark building for the 2012 London Olympics and the first venue visitors will see upon entering the Olympic Park. The centre will host all swimming events, plus diving and water polo, accommodating 17,500 spectators during the games, with the capacity being cut down to 2,500 after the games.
The aquatic centre includes two 50 meter swimming pools and a 25 meter diving pool, where six curved concrete diving boards stick out like tongues. The undulating aluminum roof symbolizes waves, and measures about 160 meters long and 90 meters wide.
Hadid says of the roof: “You need more height in the diving than you do in the swimming. So, it's really a design that has two heights. It would be quite nice to see what it's like from the pool, looking up! It could be like some sort of sea life floating above you, like a sea creature.”
Photo credit: Hufton + Crow