Water Cube Travel Guide
A semi-transparent "cube", with "bubbles" spread out all over its surface, is a shape very similar to the structure of "H2O", the outlook for the National Swimming Center at the 2008 Olympic Games.
"Water Cube", one of the three landmark buildings for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, is located inside the Beijing Olympic Park. Covering a total floor space of 50,000 square meters, it has 17,000 seats. The project costs about US$100 million.
The center will be a venue for swimming, diving, synchronized swimming and water-polo games during the period of the Olympic Games. After the games, the center will become a large water recreational center open to the public.
In January 2003, Beijing started to solicit design schemes for the National Swimming Center. The international competition settled on "Water Cube" as the winning scheme.
It is designed by the design consortium consisting of the China State Construction Engineering Corporation, China State Construction International (Shenzhen) Design Co Ltd, PTW Architects (Australia) and Ove Arup (Australia). In Chinese culture, water is an important natural element. It creates a calming atmosphere and inspires happiness. Taking full consideration of the functions of water in recreation and bodybuilding, designers have explored many ways for people of different age groups to appreciate its function.
The design is called "Water Cube". Many creative designs have been employed in the creation of the swimming pools at the swimming center. Other high-tech facilities including optical devices used to define positions of athletes, and multiple-angle, three-dimensional screening systems are provided to help spectators enjoy competitions. So the building´s structural design is based on the natural formation of soap bubbles. To arrive at the building´s structural design, which is based on the natural formation of soap bubbles to give a random, organic appearance, we used research undertaken by Weaire and Phelan (professors of physics) into how soap bubbles might be arranged in an infinite array.
To bring the design to life, the individual bubbles are incorporated into a plastic film and tailored like a sewing pattern. An entire section is pieced together and then put into place within the structure. There are interior and exterior films, and the film is then inflated once it is in-situ. It will be continuously pumped thereafter. The actual pumping has been sub-contracted, and once the installation is complete the operator will be responsible for both the operation and maintenance of the facade for ten years. This was a key component of the brief and in the choice of contractor.
The project is an opportunity for us to offer our expertise in sustainable services. The building will use solar energy to heat the pools and the interior area, and all backwash water is to be filtered and returned to the swimming pools.
The National Swimming Center, "Water Cube" will be the only landmark Olympic venue that is constructed by donations from compatriots from Overseas, and it will be one of the most dramatic and exciting venues to feature sporting events for the Beijing Olympics in 2008.
You can take the bus No.21 from Beijing West Station, and then you will get off at Mudanyuan Station, and then take the bus No.510 and get off at Beichen West Bridge
There may be games, activities, or performances in the Bird's Nest and Water Cube. Exterior visit is often arranged to these two sites.