Para Olympics Women swimmers
Designed by internationally acclaimed architect Zaha Hadid, the breathtaking Aquatics Centre is one of the permanent venues specially constructed for London 2012.
It forms part of the gateway to the Olympic Park – more than two-thirds of spectators will enter the Park at the south-east corner via a bridge that forms part of the venue’s roof.
The design and build
With a capacity of 17,500, the Aquatics Centre’s spectacular wave-like roof is 160m long and up to 80m wide – giving it a longer single span than Heathrow Terminal 5.
The venue features a 50m competition pool, a 25m competition diving pool, a 50m warm-up pool and a ‘dry’ warm-up area for divers. Construction on the venue began in July 2008 and was completed in July 2011.
The venue’s roof proved to be one of the most complex engineering challenges of the Olympic Park big build. Its skeletal structure rests on just two concrete supports at the northern end of the building and a supporting ‘wall’ at its southern end. This steel framework was initially constructed on temporary supports, before the entire 3,000-tonne structure was lifted up 1.3m in a single movement and successfully placed back down on to its permanent concrete supports.
Work began on the inside of the venue once the roof was in position. The three pools were dug out, lined, filled with water and tested, before they were fitted with more than 180,000 tiles.