The 2012 Olympics Aquatic Centre in London is the perfect example of the beautiful facilities constructed in and around Olympic Park for the upcoming games. Located in the southeast corner of the park, this spectacular arena will serve as the gateway to the area, and its unique design is sure to be the center of attention. The London Olympic Aquatics Centre boasts an awesome wave-like roof with a width of 262 feet and a length of more than 520 feet. The innovative design of the sinuous S-shaped roof is the brainchild of Zaha Hadid, an internationally known architect who has won the Pritzker Prize for her awe-inspiring designs. Hadid won the design competition for this facility in 2004, and construction on the arena began on July 17, 2008, a little more than two years before the start of the 2012 Games. It is due to be completed in 2011 and is being built by Balfour Beatty, a renowned London-based construction firm.
The spectacular wave-like roof of the 2012 Olympics Aquatics Centre is sure to be one of the most eye-catching aspects of an of the venues. Touted as one of the biggest engineering challenges in the UK, the roof is meant to create a unique backdrop that works in harmony with the surrounding river landscape, and the design of the steel roof is inspired by the wave motions of the water. The environment around the River Lea, which runs beside the indoor arena, will be used to create a new habitat for wildlife and plants. This riverside environment of the London 2012 Aquatics Centre promises a beautiful view of the city of London and Olympic Park, in combination with the wave structure. Space for security, catering, and the media will be shared between this area and facilities within the arena itself.
The London Olympic Aquatics Centre will be one of the key venues for the Games. The facility is scheduled to host the popular swimming races, as well as the diving, synchronized swimming, and water polo finals. The London 2012 Aquatics Centre will have a capacity of 17,500 for the swimming and diving events, though because the water polo events will be held in a temporary facility alongside this one, the capacity for those will be only 5,000, and most of the spectators will be seated in the two temporary wings being built. The main swimming events will take place in a 50-meter Olympic-size pool, and the diving events will take place in a 25-meter competition diving pool. There will also be a 50-meter warm-up pool for swimmers and a special warm-up area for divers at the London 2012 Aquatics Centre.
After the Games, the 2012 Olympics Aquatics Centre will be transformed into a swimming facility for clubs, schools, and the local community. Elite swimmers will also be able to join the facility to practice for future Olympic swimming competitions. The temporary wings hosting the water polo games will be removed, and the seating capacity will be reduced to 2,500, though it may be extended to 3,500 for important competitions in the future. The London Olympic Aquatics Centre will also boast a new public plaza opposite the arena, in addition to a pleasant café and other facilities for tourists.
Image: London 2012