The London Aquatics Centre, designed by Zaha Hadid Architects, is now complete. At the start of the planning process the aim was to complete all the major venues a year before the 2012 London Olympic Games. As the sixth and final major venue to be constructed this marks the completion of this goal.
Inspired by the fluid geometry of water in motion, the design is in sympathy with the surrounding river landscape of Olympic Park. The program is planned on an orthogonal axis perpendicular to the Stratford City Bridge. The three main pools are laid out along this axis with a striking multi-parabolic roof structure arching over the competition and diving pools, with the training pool tucked under the bridge. This arching roof structure was created from sight lines for Olympic spectators.
The project aims to frame the base of the pool hall as a podium by surrounding it and connecting it into the Stratford City Bridge. The podium then emerges from underneath the bridge and cascades around the pool hall to the canal level.
Zaha Hadid Architects were careful to create a building that will have a useful life long after the 2012 Olympics.