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National Aquatic Center (Water Cube)

Water Cube at night in blue with lightsBeijing Aquatic Center is also called the National Aquatic Center and nicknamed the Water Cube. While, the building is not an actual cube, but a cuboid (a rectangular box). It is an aquatics center built alongside Beijing National Stadium in the Olympic Green for the swimming competitions of the 2008 Summer Olympics. The construction was started on December 24, 2003, and was completed and handed over for use on January 28, 2008.


National Aquatic Center

The National Aquatic Center's Games-time construction area is nearly 80,000 square meters, containing 17,000 standard seats, including 6,000 permanent seats and 11,000 temporary ones. It also owns a total land surface of 65,000 square meters and will cover 79,532 square meters wholely.

The National Aquatic Center was specially designed and built by a consortium made up of PTW Architects (an Australian architecture firm), Arup international engineering group, CSCEC (China State Construction Engineering Corporation), and CCDI (China Construction Design International) of Shanghai. The Chinese partners felt a square was more symbolic to Chinese culture and its relationship to the Bird's Nest stadium, while the Sydney based partners came up with the idea of covering the 'cube' with bubbles, symbolising water, therefore came out today's Water Club. It should be noted that contextually the cube symbolises earth whilst the circle (represented by the stadium) represents heaven. Hence symbolically the water cube references Chinese symbolic architecture.

Water Cube

Comprising a steel space frame, Water Cube is the largest ETFE clad structure in the world with over 100,000 m2 of ETFE pillows that are only 0.2 mm (1/125 of an inch) in total thickness. The ETFE cladding allows more light and heat penetration than traditional glass, resulting in a 30% decrease in energy costs.

The Water Cube features air cushions both inside and outside, and its dreamlike blue color come from the exterior membranes of air cushions outside, which reflect sunshine and make the entire structure look like a gigantic water drop illuminating in the sun. Entering the Water Cube, you may feel like as if you were in an ocean with dreamlike blue bubbles.


National Aquatic Center Tour

TheNational Aquatic Center hosted the swimming, diving and Synchronized Swimming events during the Olympics. Located in the Olympic Park, travelers having National Aquatic Center Tour could also enjoy the beautiful scenery around the Olympic Park and remind the excellent events of the Olympic Games.