London Borough of Hackney, London E9
The London Aquatic Centre, designed by acclaimed international architect Zaha Hadid
was built to accommodate the indoor watersport competitions of the London 2012
It is located on the south eastern edge of the Olympic Park in close proximity to
Stratford and accessible to pedestrians via the Stratford City Bridge.
The most notable exterior feature of the centre is the spectacular roof. The undulating
roof that sweeps up from the ground like a wave, is inspired by the fluid geometry of
water in motion. The vast roof structure is 160m long and 80m wide is greater in span
than Terminal 5 at Heathrow. Construction of the Aquatic Centre began in 2008 and
completed in July 2011. The venue features a two 50m pools, one 25m competition
diving pool, and a large warm-up area for divers. The Water Polo events were held
adjacent to the building in a temporary Water Polo Arena, which also has competition
and warm-up pools.
Both venues are in close proximity to each other and in order make optimum use of the
space available, many facilities for the organisers such as catering, security and media
were shared between the two venues so they ran more effectively. As is planned for all
of the permanent structures being built for the London 2012 Olympics, the Aquatics Centre
will provide a useful legacy for the people of London after the games. It has been
transformed into a facility for the local community, clubs and schools, and will continue to
be used by elite swimmers. The London Aquatic Centre also has a creche, changing facilities
for families and a cafe beside a new public plaza in front of the building.
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