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Aquatics Centre Construction Thread


Rob.

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I saw this last night as well.

Even for what passes as a positive news story on London 2012 this was a bit downbeat. I can't remember the exact wording but saying "this is the jewel in the crown of an otherwise dull park" seemed unduly negative, as if they felt guilty about running a good news story on 2012 and had to draw in the Evening Standard audience as well.

Good to see some pictures of the build on TV though.

Thats what I thought as well , the BBC don't seem to be able to run a story on the Olyipics without a negativ twist.

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  • 2 months later...
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Construction of the wave-shaped roof of the London 2012 Aquatics Centre has reached its halfway point.

The erection of the 160m-long, 2,800-tonne roof started just three months ago and is considered one of the most complex engineering and construction challenges of the Olympic Park ‘big build’.

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This is what it will look like soon enough:

3664773341_8e34a87956_b.jpg

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  • 3 weeks later...

From DarJoLe on Skyscrapercity. He's got some more over there but this is the best one:

3733640492_42ab772bf5_b.jpg

And to think the original plans were double the size of this!!

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This is what it will look like soon enough:

3664773341_8e34a87956_b.jpg

Is that how it will look in 'games mode'??? or Legacy?!

Have they scrapped plans to add on the 'wings'? Sorry, I have not been keeping tabs on the recent developments.

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Well, that's obviously just the roof. But no, they haven't scrapped the wings which is a shame but presumably unavoidable. So essentially that's its shape in legacy.

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The wings are not a shame. Nobody needs 17,500 seats around a pool.

There are MANY ways to keep the wings but simple design a more aesthetically pleasing wrap perhaps with some curves to match the roof.

Perhaps a cheap mesh wrapped around a more different shape instead of the block like shape currently proposed would make a world of difference. Like the horrible IBC design, Good design is not related to high costs.

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The wings are not a shame. Nobody needs 17,500 seats around a pool.

No, I didn't mean a shame in that sense. They're entirely necessary. I meant it's a shame that they look like they do and it's a shame that they are a necessary evil. In other words I agree with you.

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Necessary but not evil. As I've said above, a few minor adjustments to the design they can be memorable parts of the structure without the "standing out like a monstrosity" look.. It could probably be achieved within the same budget, although one must wonder where the ODA go to get their materials because they seem to pay double/triple the normal cost for their subcontracts with material suppliers.

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Well, that's obviously just the roof. But no, they haven't scrapped the wings which is a shame but presumably unavoidable. So essentially that's its shape in legacy.

Why do the temporary 'wings' have to be covered? Why not celebrate the temporary appearance of the 'wings' as covering them, in my opinion, makes the venues look awkward and 'heavy'. The water polo venue will be uncovered. I think this solution would also allow audiences to appreciate the sculptural quality of Zaha Hadid's roof.

Heres a few examples from Foreign office architects for an idea of what I'm getting at:

screenhunter01jul192256.jpg

screenhunter02jul192256.jpg

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Good question. But they may look more ungainly covered rather than not? In case of rain?

Just guesses.

Even if it rains it is not a big deal. The athletes will be protected under the main roof in any weather. I think it could be spectacular - it would create a festival like atmosphere where people in the parkland would be able to absorb the atmosphere coming out of the venue. Keeping the wing's 'open' like the pictures I posted would, in my opinion would heighten the architecture and atmosphere.

As things stand, London is paying £300 million for a venue which is stunning in legacy mode - but the eyes of the world will be on London during the games and not after. I feel improving the way the 'wings' look would enhance the Olympic park.

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I think rain makes no roof a no-no but in other cities I'm actually warming up to the idea.

When did a roof become such a necessity. Barcelona had class without a roof over its venue. Sometimes concrete stands and a pool can be memorable too. The focus should be on good architecture first, before we go overboard with too many frills and spills.

Chicago's aquatic centre design is a good example of sticking to the basics without being elaborate but maintaining good design principles.

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When did a roof become such a necessity. Barcelona had class without a roof over its venue. Sometimes concrete stands and a pool can be memorable too. The focus should be on good architecture first, before we go overboard with too many frills and spills.

Barcelona's had a touch of class and Location, Location, Location! Probably my favourite venue of all time.

One of my few regrets about Sydney was that they didn't use North Sydney Pool, which hosted swimming in the 1938 Empire Games. I would have even been prepared to lose Luna Park (our urban amusement park next door - a shadow of what it once was now anyway) to see swimming in 2000 go there. I suppose transport made that imposible to achieve in 2000, but wow it would have been a stunning venue (especially at night with the rings on the bridge)!

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It might have that effect, or it might just look unfinished. I think the sheer size of this thing will wow the world anyway.

Even with the wings the way they are, London's aquatic venue will be magnificent. To my eyes it's one of the best swimming venues I've ever seen. However, I just feel that the part which slightly affects the look of the venue or at least could be improved is the wings and their covering. With just open wings jutting out the sides of the Zaha Hadid sculptural roof, it would acknowledge the temporary nature of the venue as opposed to hiding it. CABE for example gave that critique to the main Olympic stadium and the wrap covering it - hence it got changed to triangular shapes to expose the temporary stadium.

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I can see what you're getting at and you might well be right. It's hard to picture, that's the problem.

And I agreed with CABE about the stadium. Allowing the stadium to be see through with the temporary elements showing is a much better idea than the original. I just wonder whether your idea for the aquatics centre would look too...erm, naked.

10094_aquatics%20main.jpg

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I can see what you're getting at and you might well be right. It's hard to picture, that's the problem.

And I agreed with CABE about the stadium. Allowing the stadium to be see through with the temporary elements showing is a much better idea than the original. I just wonder whether your idea for the aquatics centre would look too...erm, naked.

10094_aquatics%20main.jpg

I guess people will get used to it. Of course the temporary shell will also hide all the scaffolding -- and give relief to spectators not just from the rain but from the sun as well. And of course, the exposed elements would impact the competition events inside.

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Why do the temporary 'wings' have to be covered? Why not celebrate the temporary appearance of the 'wings' as covering them, in my opinion, makes the venues look awkward and 'heavy'. The water polo venue will be uncovered. I think this solution would also allow audiences to appreciate the sculptural quality of Zaha Hadid's roof.

Heres a few examples from Foreign office architects for an idea of what I'm getting at:

screenhunter01jul192256.jpg

screenhunter02jul192256.jpg

I think this lower image shows the lighter temporary seating,

Its definitely less awkward looking.

But we have to be careful not to make things look to temporary

ie might collapse during the games.

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If you think rationally, the wrap plays a very functional role of the temp stand.

Apart from protecting the spectators from the unpredictable British summer, the internal volume needs to be covered for HDTV broadcast. The mesh also as mentioned disguise the massive scaffolding structure. With a roof over the seating, it will also provide support structure for lighting and speakers etc.

If its just the temp seating exposed like that, it will be so hideous and looks half-baked with a naked Legacy roof standing with two massive stand at the side. Not to mention all the messy scaffolding being exposed, extra tall light towers to illuminate the temp seating at night and moaning spectators should it rain all the time.

Think about it.

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One of my many aquatic centre designs.

1g.jpg

See more here and here

It looks like Calatrava has stolen Hadid's 2012 blueprints and imposed his skeletal style upon them :)

I think that's a good thing Mo, before you ask...

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If you think rationally, the wrap plays a very functional role of the temp stand.

Apart from protecting the spectators from the unpredictable British summer, the internal volume needs to be covered for HDTV broadcast. The mesh also as mentioned disguise the massive scaffolding structure. With a roof over the seating, it will also provide support structure for lighting and speakers etc.

If its just the temp seating exposed like that, it will be so hideous and looks half-baked with a naked Legacy roof standing with two massive stand at the side. Not to mention all the messy scaffolding being exposed, extra tall light towers to illuminate the temp seating at night and moaning spectators should it rain all the time.

Think about it.

I agree, I don’t think leaving it exposed is a viable option.

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