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Beijing National Aquatics Center

Beijing BJ China

Construction Dates
Building Uses
 - sports
Structural Types
 - lowrise
 - space frame
 - stadium
 - steel
 - plastics

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• Architect: PTW Architects.

• Client: Beijing State Asset Management.
• Constructor: China State Construction Engineering Corporation.

• Seats: 6,000 permanent, 11,000 temporary.
• Ground breaking: Dec. 24, 2003.

• The blue bubble-wrapped National Aquatics Centre, better known as the "Water Cube," took four years to build at a reported cost of 200 million dollars, most of it paid for by donations from overseas Chinese.

• The square box-like structure with three pools below ground level is made up of a steel skeleton sheathed in a Teflon-like plastic membrane that resembles bubbling water and gives the venue its name.

• It stands in contrast to the other key Olympic venue close by the National Stadium or "Birds Nest", a curved structure made up of interlocking steam beams that was scheduled for opening in April or May. http://skyscraperpage.com/cities/?buildingID=78564

• Li Aiqing, president of Beijing's state-owned Asset Management Company, which owns the Water Cube, inaugurated the cube.

• This was a very ambitious project in terms of the construction technology, and a most difficult construction challenge.

• The eco-friendly structure's translucent shell allows in natural sunlight, providing heat and light and cutting energy use by up to 30%, according to the Beijing Olympic organising committee.

• Parts of the building's high-tech shell were covered by a film of grit while patches of grime, could be seen in the interior membrane of the roof.

• The 17,000-seat venue hosted swimming, diving, synchronised swimming and water polo during the August 8-24 Olympic Games and 42 gold medals were awarded there.

• It has a three-metre deep competition pool, a warm-up pool and a diving pool.

• It stages the six-day China Open, a swimming competition that served as a test of the venue ahead of the Olympics.

• The building was unveiled a week after the launch of an investigation into claims that the deaths of more than 10 workers at the Bird's Nest had been covered up. The Chinese government has denied any knowledge of the deaths reported a week ago by Britain's Sunday Times newspaper. Yi Zhun, general manager for the builders of the Water Cube, said no workers had died building the swimming venue and he believed reports of deaths at the Bird's Nest were just rumour.

• Olympic organisers have built or refurbished 37 venues, 31 of them in Beijing, which staged the 28 sports during the Games.

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