Search

Architect Zaha Hadid returns to London Aquatics Centre to see her original ‘wave’ building design

16:34 11 March 2014

Architect Zaha Hadid at the London Aquatics Centre, which she designed. Picture: Rahil Ahmad.

Architect Zaha Hadid at the London Aquatics Centre, which she designed. Picture: Rahil Ahmad.

Rahil Ahmad

The London Aquatics Centre has undergone a dramatic transformation since the end of the Paralympic Games to bring it into line with acclaimed architect Zaha Hadid’s original design.

The swimming poolThe swimming pool

Gone are the white wings which provided an additional 15,000 seats. Left in their stead are 628 glass panels which offer an almost complete panoramic of the centre’s urban surroundings and allow light to flood into the enormous atrium.

She explained the “wave and water” as well as marine life had inspired her design, in particular the curved roof.

“We were always looking at marine life,” she said, adding: “If you were in the water [looking up at the roof], you could be under some sort of [marine] species.

“But it was really about the wave and how I could interpret it.”

The Aquatics Centre. Picture by Anthony Charlton for LLDC.The Aquatics Centre. Picture by Anthony Charlton for LLDC.

The dual use of the building, which needed extra capacity during the Games but now has 2,500 spectator seats, impacted on its design.

Hadid was voted one of the 100 most powerful women in the country last year.

She said: “I had to make a roof where the ceilings could expand beyond it. The capacity was very big.”

She said she was “fine” with the addition of the wings and thought the venue was “very special” after its transformation into legacy mode.

New look Aquatics centre with 2,800sq metres of glassNew look Aquatics centre with 2,800sq metres of glass

“I like that you can see beyond the boundaries of the building. It becomes much more urban,” she added.

As well as hosting major swimming and diving competitions, the centre is focused on providing a swimming pool for the community.

Hadid said: “I think that these projects are important because I always think that, especially for kids or for the people in London, you need something in your proximity to enjoy and also to show that it’s a nice place.

“It opens their eyes to other worlds, which is very important.

“There’s no line between who can use [the centre] and not. It is for the public and I think it is a great building.

“I live here in London, so I have a particular interest in buildings in the city.”

0 comments

Latest News Stories

13 minutes ago
The Docklands Light Railway in Beckton. Picture: PA Wire/John Stillwell

Transport union RMT has cancelled a strike that was due to start tomorrow at 4am.

London
40 minutes ago
Liam Byrne MP at New Vic college encouraging students to vote in May

More than three million young people will have their first opportunity to vote in May’s general election – but students at New Vic Sixth Form college say politicians must do more to regain their trust.

Holocaust survivor Rudi Oppenheimer, centre, at the Old Town Hall, Stratford

Seventy years on from the end of the Second World War, the Holocaust remains fresh in the memory of one survivor.

Lister Community School
Bafta winner Roy Williams is giving Antigone a gangland reworking

Award-winning playwright Roy Williams is bringing his take on Antigone to Stratford.

Most read news

Emergency declared as blizzard is expected to dump up to 24 inches of snow.

With 100 days to go until the General Election we decided to give it a try.

Twitter is taking on WhatsApp and Instagram with new features to make the app more social.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Newham Recorder e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24
Our trusted business finder