Beijing National Aquatics Center (Water Cube)

Water Cube
 

Water Cube

Built for the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Beijing National Aquatics Center has a cute nickname – Water Cube. The Water Cube is not only a sporting venue, but it is also a magnificent architecture and popular tourist attraction. In the daytime, the Water Cube shines as a blue transparent spectacle, while after sunset it is a crystal piece of architecture with LED-lit bubbles.

Read this article to know more details about this famous architecture.

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Facts of Water Cube

  • Chinese: 国家游泳中心 (guó jiā yóu yǒng zhōng xīn);水立方 (shuǐ lì fāng)
  • Capacity: 6000 seats (17,000 seats during 2008 Beijing Olympic Games)
  • Broke Ground: 24 December 2003
  • Entrance Ticket: CNY 30 per person (basic)
  • Opening Hours: 09:00-18:00 for sightseeing; 09:00-21:00 for swimming during May and October; 12:30-21:00 for swimming from November to next April
  • Location: No.1 Tianchen East Road, Chaoyang District (朝阳区天辰东路11号)

Water Cube Architecture

The Water Cube was designed and built by a consortium made up of PTW Architects (an Australian architecture firm), Arup international engineering group, CSCEC (China State Construction Engineering Corporation), and CCDI (China Construction Design International) of Shanghai.

Traditional Chinese Culture

Water Cube Architecture
 

Water Cube Architecture

Chinese architects attach great importance to symmetry. Many buildings in Beijing are located on the west and east of the central axis. According to the design of Olympic Park, the Water Cube is on the west side of the central axis, while the Bird’s Nest is on the east side.

In Chinese feng shui (风水) culture, the heaven is round and the earth is square  (天圆地方), this is the harmony of Yin and Yang (阴阳调和). The Water Cube is cube-shaped, it symbolizes the earth. The Bird’s Nest is elliptic, it symbolizes heaven. This design reflects the rules of social life represented by ethics in Chinese culture.

Modern Technology

Besides the traditional culture, the Water Cube is built by modern science and technology. It is made of 100,000 m² of ethylene tetrafluoroethylene (ETFE) membranes which are resistant to fire and severe heat, and possess ductility and crushing resistance. Each membrane contains thousands of bubble-like formations.

The structure is like a massive cube of water held by bubbles. 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.

What Is The Water Cube Used for Now?

 Water Park
 

Water Park

Beijing Aquatics Center was originally designed and built as a venue for the 2008 Summer Olympics. After the Olympics, the Water Cube was opened to the public for a while, usually on some selected days or special events. On 15 October 2009, the Water Cube was closed to the public for further transformation.

After nine months, the Water Cube was reopened on 8 August 2010. It was turned into a multi-functional center for sports, recreation, and fitness. The renovation divided the facility into three pool areas, the core area - the Olympic competition pool, a warm-up pool, and a water park. The water park is an entertainment paradise for kids.

Besides working as a sporting venue and water park, the Water Cube also is a popular tourist attraction in Beijing. It is beautiful inside and out, it is a good place to take wonderful pictures. In the daytime, the Water Cube shines as a blue transparent spectacle, while after sunset it is a crystal piece of architecture with LED-lit bubbles. Many visitors will come here to admire this architectural wonder.

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How to Get to The Water Cube?

Beijing National Aquatics Center is located on the northern outskirts of the city, 14 kilometers (8 miles) away from Tian’anmen Square. There are three suggested types of transport for you to get there.

  • By subway: Take Line 8 to Olympic Green Station and leave from Exit D (southeast direction).
  • By bus: Take No. 82 Bus to Beichenxiqiao North Station (北辰西桥北).
  • By taxi: Show this sentence to the taxi driver “请带我去国家游泳中心(水立方)。”. The English meaning is that please take me to the National Aquatics Center (the Water Cube).

Nearby Attractions

Beijing Attractions Map

1. Summer Palace: Summer Palace is the largest and best-preserved royal park in China. The Palace greatly influences Chinese horticulture and landscape, with its famous natural views and cultural interest, and has long been recognized as 'The Museum of Royal Gardens'. It is only 12 kilometers away from Beijing National Stadium.

2. Mutianyu Great Wall: As an icon of China, the Great Wall is a must-see attraction in Beijing. The Mutianyu section of the Great Wall is ranked top on Trip Advisor among all the Great Wall sections, for its picturesque scenery and beautifully restored architecture.

Tour Beijing with Us

 Exploring Beijing
 

Exploring Beijing

We can arrange a worry-free Beijing travel experience for you. If you visit the Water Cube or any other attractions in Beijing, feel free to tell us! Our professional travel advisor can tailor-made an itinerary for you.

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Besides, China Travel has developed some special activities in Beijing, for you to experience traditional Chinese art forms, like paper-cutting. Feel free to contact us if you want to add these activities to your itinerary.

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