Wings removed from Zaha Hadid's
Olympic Aquatics Centre


News: the two temporary wing-like seating stands have been removed from Zaha Hadid's Aquatics Centre at the London 2012 Olympic Park, meaning the building can be seen for the first time as it was originally designed.

The two temporary stands increased spectator capacity from 2500 to 7500 during the Olympic games, but their removal will enable the building's conversion to a public swimming pool, set to open in spring 2014.

The final two 172-tonne trusses were removed yesterday and huge panels of glazing will now be installed along the two side elevations, allowing natural light into the building's three pools and corresponding with Zaha Hadid's original design. Once open, it will also offer a cafe, crèche and dry-dive training area.

Wings removed from Zaha Hadid's Olympic Aquatics Centre

The renovation forms part of the £292million legacy programme to convert the Olympic site into the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, which will open in phases beginning with North Park this July.

The Aquatics Centre could be used as a competition venue again if London wins its bid to host the 2014 FINA Diving Championships and the 2016 European Swimming Championships.

Hadid's building was completed in July 2011, a year ahead of the London 2012 Olympics and features an undulating wave-like roof and six curved concrete diving boards. See more images of the Olympic venues in our slideshow feature.

Wings removed from Zaha Hadid's Olympic Aquatics Centre

See more architecture by Zaha Hadid »
See all stories about London 2012 »

Photography by David Poultney for LLDC.

  • Dylan

    I think it definitely looks a lot better with them off of the building, it has a much more pleasing shape without them.

    • Chris

      Thanks for the axiom.

      • amsam

        That’s not an axiom, it’s a redundancy. But thanks for the malaprop!

        • Tie

          My pretentious radar just exploded, thanks guys.

  • rai

    The idea to have a more sustainable games and remove the un-needed seats later was great! The only problem was that nobody could see the building behind the temporary tribunes. Now we can see what the architects of Zaha’s office have planned and despite the Asian bulls*** that we see here from time to time this is really nice!

  • EFl

    Alejandro Zaera (FOA) presented an identical idea for Madrid 2012 bid. I’m curious who copied who.

  • Boaz

    Notice the British whiners aren’t complaining here.

  • Tang

    Now there is no more hope this thing could fly away from here.

  • Craves

    Why’s it got a wobbly line at the junction of roof and glass wall?