The Watercube associates water as a structural and conceptual "Leitmotiv" with the square, the primal shape of the house in Chinese tradition and mythology.
The structure of the WATERCUBE is based on a unique lightweight
construction, developed by China State Construction Design
International (CCDI), PTW Architects, and ARUP, and derived from
the structure of water bubbles in the state of aggregation found in
Behind the totally random appearance hides a strict geometry that can be found in natural systems like crystals, cells and molecular structures - the most efficient subdivision of 3-dimensional space with equally sized cells. The transparency and apparent randomness is equally transposed into the inner and outer building-skins, made of inflated ETFE cushions.
The reason for different coulours is The reflection of light
changes the color; outside it reflects the sky and the outer layer
is slightly tinted in blue, Inside the white prevails, the sun
coming through highlights the ETFE and the structure.
Unlike traditional stadium structures with gigantic columns & beams, cables & spans, to which a facade system is applied, the architectural space, structure and facade of the Watercube are one and the same element.
90% of the solar energy falling on the building is trapped
within the highly efficient structural zone and is used to heat the
pools and the interior area. Rainwater from the roof is reused,
recycled and redistributed alongside efficient pool filtration and
The design uses state-of-the-art technology and materials to
create a visually striking, energy-efficient, and ecologically
friendly building. Conceptually the square box and the interior
spaces are carved out of an unconfined cluster of foam bubbles,
symbolizing a condition of nature that is transformed into a
condition of culture.
Together with the main stadium by Herzog & de Meuron, a duality between fire and water, Yin and Yang, is being created with all its associated tensions and attractions.
The Project was recently recognized at the Venice Architecture
Biennale for "demonstrating in a stunning way, how the deliberate
morphing of molecular science, architecture and phenomenology can
create an airy and misty atmosphere for a personal experience of
Bosse was associate architect on the Aquatic Center for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing while working for Australian architects PTW. He has recently teamed up with Tobias Wallisser to launch a new architectural practice called pnyg:LAVA. the laboratory for visionary architecture.
Facts about Watercube
PTW + CCDI + ARUP
CSCEC+design team leaders:
PTW design team:
People's Government of Beijing Municipality
Last updated: February 01, 2013