Zaha Hadid's Olympic aquatics centre
due to open in its completed form

| 2 comments
 

These photographs show the newly converted aquatics centre by Zaha Hadid Architects for the London 2012 Olympics, which will open to the public next week without the controversial wings that housed additional seating during the Games.

Zaha Hadid's Olympic aquatics centre due to open in its completed form

Now configured as it was originally designed by Zaha Hadid Architects, the temporary stands constructed for the Olympic and Paralympic Games have been removed and replaced with glazing that fills the space between the spectator stands and the roof.

Zaha Hadid's Olympic aquatics centre due to open in its completed form

In its new "legacy mode," the centre accommodates 2500 seats for future events including the 2014 World Diving Series and 2016 European Swimming Championships.

Zaha Hadid's Olympic aquatics centre due to open in its completed form

Two boxy temporary wings housing 15,000 temporary seats that were tacked onto either side of the building when it was originally opened ahead of the Games were removed in May last year.

Zaha Hadid's Olympic aquatics centre due to open in its completed form

In a statement released ahead of the centre's reopening on 1 March, mayor of London Boris Johnson said: "After a post-Olympic makeover, London’s majestic aquatics centre is now flinging open its doors for everyone to enjoy, whether an elite athlete or enthusiastic amateur."

Zaha Hadid's Olympic aquatics centre due to open in its completed form

"All of the world-class sporting venues on the magnificent Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park have secured bright futures, dispelling fears of white elephants and helping to drive our ambitious regeneration plans for east London," Johnson added.

Zaha Hadid's Olympic aquatics centre due to open in its completed form

The undulating form of the aquatics centre's roof was based on sightlines for spectators during the Olympics, but came in for criticism when it was reported that some of the seats only offered restricted views.

Zaha Hadid's Olympic aquatics centre due to open in its completed form
Aquatics centre in Olympic mode showing temporary seating

A diving pool, competition pool and training pool are arranged in a line along the centre of the building, with the training pool housed under Stratford City Bridge on the edge of the Olympic Park.

Zaha Hadid's Olympic aquatics centre due to open in its completed form

The centre's internal layout remains largely unchanged, but daylight now enters the space through expansive glass surfaces replacing the banked seating that rose from behind the permanent stands.

Zaha Hadid's Olympic aquatics centre due to open in its completed form

As well as prestigious international events, the venue will also provide community facilities for swimming and diving lessons, fitness and family sessions, water polo, synchronised swimming, diving, triathlon, sub aqua, gym and dry diving.

Zaha Hadid's Olympic aquatics centre due to open in its completed form

Photography is by Hufton + Crow.

Zaha Hadid's Olympic aquatics centre due to open in its completed form

  • Ivan

    I criticise her a lot, but this is fantastic and beautiful! Good job!

  • amsam

    Yes to all the above. And it’s frankly insane that every Olympic structure doesn’t use this strategy, of pre-planned downsizing after the games so that the venue is a useful size for the remainder of its life.