Arup Wins Design Competition for Olympic Aquatic Center


Arup, the London-based international architectural consulting group, has won a design competition to build the Tianjin Olympic Aquatic Center in collaboration with the China State Construction International (Shenzhen) design consultants.

The Arup design is a multipurpose aquatic center that includes  swimming and diving competition facilities, training centers, retail outlets and aquatic leisure features, including an indoor lake.

The same partnership is also designing the “Water Cube” National Swimming Center being built for the Beijing 2008 Olympics. Arup won a BE Award of Excellence for that design in May 2004.

The Arup team, led by Michael Kwok, will provide structural and fire engineering services, building physics, and sustainability design for the project. Lead architects are

The center is the last building to be developed as part of the Olympic sport complex in Tianjin, an important port city 250 miles southeast of Beijing. The complex also includes a stadium and a gymnasium that are already under construction.

The buildings are enclosed in a lake environment and follow a water-based theme. The 230m high aquatic center is made up of structural pods with curved latticed elements which are linked to form a single-layered integrated external skin in the shape of a water droplet.