Aquatics Centre, London, UK

aquatics centre

The water sports centre in London’s East End for the 2012 Summer Olympics is a design by the architect Zaha Hadid. It is the undulating roof over this facility and the large glass façades on the east and the west side that really grab the attention. The full potential of this sports centre has been revealed since the steep, temporary grandstands  only necessary during the Games  were taken down.

  • Design, fabrication and supply of both the steel glass and the aluminium glass façades for the interior and exterior areas of this project were the responsibility of seele. This design called for many demanding details. One of those is the all-glass vestibule in the centre of the gently inward-sloping entrance façade. Its 3m high sliding doors glide smoothly  despite their weight of 150kg  alongside the glass of the façade itself. The high U-value requirements for indoor swimming pools also called for numerous custom solutions.

    Another, internal, glass façade separates the spacious entrance foyer from the swimming area itself. This façade at an angle of 28° traces a large arc on plan. The wide spacing of the posts and the large-format glazing guarantee unobstructed views of the pools as soon as visitors enter the foyer.
    The east and west façades that were built after the removal of the Olympic grandstands were also part of seele’s contract. These inward-sloping external façades merge gracefully with the roof construction. Each post is connected via diagonal struts to an extra column behind the façade to form a trussed girder. This façade structure is fixed at ground level and thus forms a stable cantilever element that transfers all façade loads into the ground slab.

    Hot water flows through all the steel hollow sections of the external façades to prevent condensation forming on the glass. All the glazing is covered with a pattern of ceramic screen-printed black dots to ensure that the interior is bathed in pleasant sunshine, but without unpleasant glare.

    Project images: © Hufton + Crow

6,450sqm glass façade area  425t structural steelwork

Client Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA)
Main contractor Balfour Beatty Group Ltd
Architect Zaha Hadid Architects
Date of completion 2011
Scope of seele supply

Olympic Mode: Internal and external façades in steel glass and aluminium glass design including lobby and sliding doors

  • Total area: 850sqm
  • Steel tonnage: 325t

Legacy Mode: External cantilever steel façades and internal fire protection façade (completion 2013)

  • Total area: 5,600sqm
  • Steel tonage: 100t

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