The Water Cube in Beijing, China
National Aquatic Centre for the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, China
The Beijing National Aquatics Center, also known as the Water Cube, was built alongside Beijing National Stadium (Bird’s Nest) in the Olympic Green for the swimming competitions of the 2008 Summer Olympics. Despite its nickname, the building is not an actual cube, but a cuboid (a rectangular box).
The “Water Cube” was built in accordance with a water-saving design concept to be a gigantic green architectural wonder. It cost £75 million (10.2 billion yuan).
Its design was initiated by a team effort: the Chinese partners felt a square was more symbolic to Chinese culture and its relationship to the Bird’s Nest stadium, while the Sydney based partners came up with the idea of covering the ‘cube’ with bubbles, symbolizing water.
The Aquatics Center hosted the swimming, diving and synchronized swimming events during the Olympics.
After the Olympics, the building’s popularity has spawned many copycat structures throughout China. On October 19, 2009, the Water Cube was closed to the public to begin a massive renovation of a portion of the complex into a water park.
The building re-opened on August 8, 2010, marking the two year anniversary of the beginning of the 2008 Summer Olympics. The redesigned facility contains numerous water rides and slides, a wave pool, and spa areas. The renovations were performed in order to bring renewed interest to the Olympic Green area as part of the games’ legacy.
(Info sources: Wikipedia and Beijing Olympic websites)
Photography, Jojie Alcantara
These night shots were taken during my visit in August 29, 2011 in Beijing.