Water World5th October 2010
The Beijing National Aquatics Center aka the Water Cube (home of the 2008 Beijing Olympics swimming and diving categories) has been transformed from hi-tec sporting arena to an underwater aquatic adventure playground. Covering a third of the 32,000 sqm site, the interior to the snappily titled ‘Happy Magic Water Cube Waterpark’ has been designed with two personas in mind.
Theme and waterpark design company Forrec wanted to have the vibrant colours of the slides, shoots and walkways naturally lighted when the sun shines through the bubble pattern exterior by day, whilst by night the park is illuminated with lighting that allows the day-glo attractions to glow and shimmer.
This is a great example of how the Olympics can leave its legacy in a city which once held its games. What was thought to become a white elephant once the Olympics moved on to its next destination, has never been empty since the games in 2008. On the waterpark’s opening day an estimated 2000 visitors arrived at the 2500 capacity venue.
It leaves me wondering what will London gain from the legacy of the Olympics after 2012 and will our vision be as bold and as contemporary as this? I’d like to.