Essential Architecture- Beijing Olympics Architecture

Beijing National Aquatics Centre

architect

Initially designed by Peddle Thorp Walker Architects (Sydney based), CSCEC International Design and Arup with structural Engineers Arup conceiving the structure.

location

Beijing / Peking, China

date

2008

style

Deconstructivist

construction

The structure was built by CSCEC (China State Construction Engineering Corporation). Comprising a steel spaceframe, it is the largest ETFE clad structure in the world with over 100,000 m² of ETFE pillows that are only eight one-thousandths of an inch in total thickness,[1] The ETFE cladding allows more light and heat penetration than traditional glass, resulting in a 30% decrease in energy costs.

type

sports venue
 
 
  The National Aquatics Centre, known as the Water Cube, will host the swimming and diving competitions in August
Photograph: Dan Chung
 
  The roof of the centre is a steel skeleton sheathed in a Teflon-like plastic membrane
Photograph: Dan Chung
 
 
The Beijing National Aquatics Centre, also known as the Water Cube (or abbreviated [H2O]3), is an aquatics centre that is currently being built alongside Beijing National Stadium in the Olympic Green for the 2008 Summer Olympics. Ground was broken on December 24, 2003.

Architecture
The Water Cube was initially designed by PTW Architects [2], CSCEC International Design and Arup with structural Engineers Arup conceiving the structure. The structure was built by CSCEC (China State Construction Engineering Corporation). Comprising a steel spaceframe, it is the largest ETFE clad structure in the world with over 100,000 m² of ETFE pillows that are only eight one-thousandths of an inch in total thickness,[1] The ETFE cladding allows more light and heat penetration than traditional glass, resulting in a 30% decrease in energy costs.

The structure will have a capacity of 17,000[1]during the games that will be reduced to 6,000 afterwards. It also has a total land surface of 65,000 square metres and will cover a total of 7.8 acres.

Olympics
The Aquatics Centre will host the Swimming, Diving and Synchronized Swimming events during the Olympics. The Water Polo was originally planned to be hosted in the venue but has been moved to the Ying Tung Natatorium.

Awards
Quote from the Jury report of the Official Awards 9th International Architecture Exhibition - METAMORPH, Venice Biennale "The special award for the most accomplished work in the section Atmosphere is awarded to the Australian architecture firm PTW Architects , CSCEC + Design and Arup for the project National Swimming Centre, Beijing Olympic Green, China. The project demonstrates in a stunning way, how the deliberate morphing of molecular science, architecture and phenomenology can create an airy and misty atmosphere for a personal experience of water leisure".

2004 - Venice Biennale - Award for most accomplished work Atmosphere section
2006 - Popular Science Best of what's new 2006 in engineering
 
February 27, 2007
BEIJING BUBBLE BUILDING: China’s National Swim Center
by Emily

With all the new construction going up in China, it’s easy to lose track of “one more cool-looking” building. But PTW’s National Swimming Center for the 2008 Olympics in Beijing exemplifies what all this new construction should aim to be: beautiful, functional, forward-thinking, and most importantly, a good example for future development in a nation whose growth appears to know no bounds. The design, which won a competition in 2003 and will sit adjacent to Herzog and DeMeuron’s main stadium, boasts a striking blue “bubble” aesthetic, which is both eye-catching and indicative of the function it houses (we love this interior-exterior architectural connection).
Known as the “Watercube,” PTW’s design is a basic box, juxtaposed with an organic “bubble” structure that makes up the building cladding. The bubbles are both organic (in form) and highly-scientific, constructed based on actual arrangement of organic cells and the natural formation of soap bubbles.

“Our ‘Watercube’ concept is a simple and concise square form that ultimately uses the water bubble theory to create the structure and building cladding, and which makes the design so unique. It appears random and playful like a natural system, yet is mathematically very rigorous and repetitious. The transparency of water, with the mystery of the bubble system, engages those both inside and out of the structure to consider their own experiences with water,” says Andrew Frost, Director of Sydney-based design firm PTW.
The skin’s material is just as innovative, its structural properties made possible by a lightweight and transparent Teflon called ETFE. The particular species of Teflon is designed to react to changing light conditions, which will create stunning visual effects for both visitors to the Watercube and to millions of TV spectators.

And if you’re wondering about the green-ness of the 7,000 square foot Watercube, PTW has brought in Arup, the highly-respected engineering firm to make the structure as efficient as possible. “Swimming centres require a lot of heating, but by cladding the building in high-tech ETFE cushions, we have developed a very efficient green house.
90% of the solar energy falling on the building is trapped within the structural zone and is used to heat the pools and the interior area,” says Kenneth Ma of Arup.

Thanks to www.inhabitat.com

links

 
www.essential-architecture.com