A stunning piece of modern architecture, a mega structure, a piece that represents China as a global economic leader, the Water Cube is one of the mighty architectural structures designed for the Olympics. Now that the Olympics are heading for London, the Water Cube is now more than just an oversized water container. It is a fantastic venue to enjoy the magnificent architectural feat in China, and of course, have fun with the amusing activities inside.
A brief backgrounder
First, let’s get through some details: the Water Cube or the National Aquatics Center is situated along the western section of Landscape Avenue, west of the Bird’s Nest (Beijing National Stadium. The facilities for the 2008 Beijing Olympics are still intact. The construction of the Water Cube started on 2003 and it was finally completed 2008 just in time for the Olympics. The massive structure is 177m x177mx 30m in overall dimension covering an area of more than 60,000 square meters. The National Aquatics Center is composed of 4 floors, one on street level, 2 on higher elevation and one below. The first floor is reserved for tourists while the section below was used as a service area during the Olympics.
What else should you think of doing when visiting the Water Cube? Enjoy the grandness and innovation with the use of modern architectural, design and construction innovations. On top of that the cube also adopts some of the traditional values of China. The Chinese concept of earth is square while the heavens are rounded. This became the central idea for the design. Another factor that determined the design was it was sitting in the midst of ancient structured so it was necessary to adopt some traditional design elements while still looking superbly modern and stylish.
Innovation and tradition
Creating the vision for the Water Cube was a collaborative effort between Chinese and Australian in which the design was inspired by a unique theory called The Soap Bubble. The resulting design is a unique polyhedral shape made of steel framework. The Water Cube is made of thousands of ETFE membranes that provide insulation for the Center. Each membrane contains thousands of bubble like formations. This made the Water Cube a record holder for the massive ETFE application. The resulting structure is like a massive cube of water held by bubbles. Thus, it is called the Water Cube. The blue color is ideal to reflect the sunlight and keep the interior temperature controlled, ensuring that the thousands of people inside are kept cool. Also, the design of the cube allowed light to come in, ensuring that people can see all the festivities in broad daylight, but in a more comfortable experience.
After the Olympics
Now that the Olympics were over for China, the Water Cube never lost purpose. Nowadays, it is an internationally renowned facility for advanced swimming, health building, sports and leisure. After the Olympics, the Water Cube was shut down for further changes and to prepare it for its new role as an important tourist and leisure center.
The reopening meant new found value for this expensive structure such as:
• The Water World- this is a fantastic location that will take your breath away. You will definitely love the rigorous effort done to create this structure
• The Waterpark inside the Water Cube is the indoor theme park that has been created for leisurely purposes; the southern section of the Water Cube includes numerous slides and gimmicks from spa pools, river rides, wave pools, and other kinds of festive water activities for added excitement.
• SPA Zone composes of globally recognized facilities so that you can have the pampering and comfort that you want while inside the Water Cube.
• There is also a business area that you can visit for souvenirs and other things. Added information about the Water Cube can also be found in this area.
• Eating and drinking in the Water Cube is fun since there are water themed restaurants that offer incredibly delicious meals.
Best time to visit
If you want to swim in the training pools you can pay a fee of CNY 50 for a 2 hour dip. You can go for a swim from Tuesday to Sunday. The admission fee to get inside the actual cube is CNY 30. There is a time limit to get tickets for the Water Park so time your ticket purchase. The Water Cube is open all year round from Monday to Thursday from 9 to 7 pm and Friday to Sunday from 9 to 5 pm.