During the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London, fans can expect to see a bevy of new buildings to host the numerous events scheduled to begin on July 27, 2012. One of the most anticipated arenas includes the Aquatics Centre, located in the southeastern corner of Olympic Park and connected via bridge to the main entrance.
Zaha Hadid, a world-renowned architect, began designing the unique structure in 2005, determined to show fluidity and motion through the lines of the building. Construction started in July 2008 with a budget of roughly $91 million. The building was completed in July 2011 where British diver and 2008 Olympian Tom Daley officially opened the arena with a dive from the 10-meter platform. Due to the sweeping nature of the roof, construction costs exceeded the budgeted amount, reaching a staggering $330 million.
The vaulted wave-like roof and expansive 25-meter diving pool allow for high multi-tiered diving platforms alongside a smaller set of springboards. The water concept continues through the entire building, captured through the curvature of the walls, seating, and diving platforms. As seen from pictures of the arena on Zaha Hadid's website, the diving pool provides ample room for athletes to perform at their best during each event. The platform diving boards flow from one to the next, connected by metallic railings and feature their own backside stairway for competitors. Seating around the diving pool is limited, creating a somewhat quieter environment for divers to focus
The Aquatics Centre has a capacity of 17,500 with seats surrounding the diving and 50-meter competition pools. Giant glass windows encompass the arena, creating a constant flow of natural light. Two temporary wings have been added to the venue for additional seating and the water polo competition. An additional 50-meter pool was installed during construction for athletes to practice and warm-up before matches. After the conclusion of the Olympic Games, this permanent venue will house athletic community events for swimmers of all experience levels.
Summer Olympic Games 2012:
Diving events will be held from Sunday, July 29, 2012 until Saturday, Aug. 11, featuring 3- and 10-meter synchronized springboard, platform, and springboard events for both men and women. The Aquatics Centre will also feature swimming, synchronized swimming, and a portion of the modern pentathlon during the games.
Cat Warner is a long-time Olympic Games fan, obsessively watching the diving, fencing, gymnastic, and archery events.