What do you get when you ask a Pritzker Prize-winning architect like Zaha Hadid to design your pool? An elegant, undulating structure that’s surprising delicate for something that’s largely made out of concrete — and the perfect home for the swimming, diving, synchronized swimming, and water polo events at the London 2012 Olympic Games. According to Design Boom, the £269m centre — whose wave-shaped roof weighs more than 3,000 tons — can hold up to 17,500 spectators at a time and contains more than 850,000 tiles throughout its pools, changing facilities, and floors. “The aim was to do a pool for the legacy,” Hadid has said. “It was very important that this project had a long-term, balanced effect.” Click through to get a closer look at the recently completed structure, and let us know in the comments how you think it stacks up against the far more bubbly Beijing Water Cube.
Main diving and swimming event pools. © Hufton and Crow
Diving platforms. © Hufton and Crow
Monolithic concrete bases. © Hufton and Crow
View from platforms. © Hufton and Crow
Glass enclosure viewing diving platforms. © Hufton and Crow
Training pool. © Hufton and Crow