Photos of the completed Olympic Aquatics Centre by Zaha Hadid have surfaced. An urban-scaled gestural wave, the building is a nod to the water and movement it contains. Photographed by Hufton and Crow, the space is largely rendered in neutral grey, contrasted by the brilliant blue of the pools. The six sculptural diving platforms cantilever over the water in the center– I’m sorry centre– of the um… well.. aquatics centre. For the olympics, the building has two wings of bleachers that will later be chopped off as the olympic venue molts into its post-olympic life.
Yes, it’s drastically different than the hugely popular Beijing Water Cube, but will likely become popular on its own. I was pleasantly surprised by the space housing the practice pool: which eschews volumetric trickery for a more somber and sophisticated-feeling space. The ceiling above the practice pool is punctuated with a graphic pattern of skylights that smells a little like seventies wallpaper, but in the best way possible. Remember when Zaha took to designing wallpaper?