The London Aquatics Centre is an indoor facility with two 50-metre swimming pools and a 25-metre diving pool. The centre will be used for the swimming, diving and synchronised swimming competitions during the Games. The three pools hold around 10 million litres of water.
It was designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Zaha Hadid in 2004. The project architect was Jim Heverin. Construction started in July 2008 and was completed in July 2011.The building is 45 metres high, 160 metres long and 80 metres wide. The roof is said to be 1,040 square metres, a reduction from the previously stated 3,300 square metres.
The design demonstrates the precast-concrete skills by exposing the concrete finish rather than painting or cladding. The precast floor terracing was manufactured by Bell & Webster Concrete in Lincolnshire, England. The terracing units were delivered and positioned to accelerate the speed of construction. The unique six-board diving platform is made from 462 tonnes of concrete.
Situated in Park at Stratford in east London, it will be one of the main venues of the 2012 Games. With its distinctive architecture and curved roof, the centre will be the first venue visitors see upon entering the Park.
Aquatics Centre will host 32 different swimming events and 2 synchronised swimming events at the end of July and the beginning of August.
The centre was built alongside the Water Polo Arena, and opposite the main Stadium of the Games on the opposite bank of the Waterworks River. During the games the venue will have a capacity of 17,500. The two temporary ‘wings’ will be removed post-games reducing the capacity to a regular 2,500, with an additional 1,000 seats available for major events.
Swimming is expected to feature 34 different events (17 male, 17 female). Two of these will be open-water swims of 10 kilometres in distance, while the remaining 32 events will be contested in a 50-metre-long course pool at the Aquatics Centre.
Diving is scheduled to take place from 29 July to 11 August 2012. 136 athletes are expected to take part. All of them must be at least 14 years old on or by December 31, 2012. The Games will feature competitions in 8 events, further divided into men’s and women’s tournaments: 3-metre springboard, synchronized 3-metre springboard, 10-metre platform, and synchronized 10-metre platform.
Synchronized swimming competitions are scheduled to be held from Sunday 5 August to Friday 10 August. Two medal events are included in the programme – women’s duet and women’s team – with 104 athletes expected to participate.
Modern pentathlon contains five events: pistol shooting, épée fencing, 200-metre freestyle swimming (which will be hosted at the Aquatics Centre), show jumping, and a 3-kilometre cross-country run. The competitions are scheduled to be held on Saturday 11 August and Sunday 12 August 2012. The men’s and women’s events will each involve 36 athletes.