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Hadid Design Chosen for London Olympic Aquatic Center

Click photos for a closer look

Aquatic Center, west view
Rendering Courtesy London 2012)

Aquatic Center, interior
Rendering Courtesy London 2012)

Architecture Foundation
Rendering Courtesy Caro Communications

Rendering of Exhibition Road
Courtesy Erica Bolton & Jane Quinn Ltd.

London Olympic officials have chosen an aquatic center design by Zaha Hadid for the city’s planned 2012 Olympic Bid.

The 20,000-seat venue, which will be built regardless of whether London takes the games (decisions will be made by the International Olympic Committee this Summer), includes a dramatic S-shaped roof, inspired, say officials, by the flow of water prevalent on the building’s riverside location.

"The design gives a taste of just what we can offer and makes London’s bid to host the Games even more compelling,” says London Mayor Ken Livingstone, who prompted the design process through the London Development Agency.

The space will include two 50 meter swimming pools and a competition diving pool. It is the centerpiece of a 500-acre surrounding site that is set to rejuvenate the distressed area of Stratford, in east London.

Hadid was chosen earlier this month to design the new home of the Architecture Foundation in London (RECORD on the web, January 13, 2005), a design that features a highly angular, solid concrete ribbon wrapped around a full height glazed central space. Other recently-announced local projects include Dixon & Jones' changes to London's Exhibition Road, near the Victoria and Albert Museum, which will transform the rather neglected street with new plantings, benches, fountains, sculptures, and lighting. Meanwhile, Swiss-based Herzog & DeMeuron, which completed the Tate Modern ten years ago, was chosen on January 27 to design a major expansion of the facility.


Sam Lubell