National Aquatics Center
The National Aquatics Center, or the Water Cube, is located in the southern part of the central area of the Olympic Green in Beijing, west of the Bird's Nest. It broke grounds in 2003 and was inaugurated and available for use in January, 2008. Its Games-time construction area was close to 80,000 square meters, containing 17,000 standard seats, made up of 6,000 permanent seats and 11,000 temporary ones. During the 2008 Olympic Games, it staged 42 gold medal events in swimming, diving and synchronized swimming.
The Water Cube was built in accordance with a water-saving design concept; a gigantic green architectural wonder. It is inspired by the natural formation of soap bubbles to give a random, organic appearance. In daylight, the Water Cube shines as a blue translucent spectacle; while at night, it offers itself as a glowing crystal palace.
After the Olympics, it was converted into a multi-functional facility for sports, culture and recreation, providing various aquatic facilities for both citizens and athletes.
With art and excelling design as well as eco-friendly technology, the Water Cube is definitely a classic piece of architecture from the Olympics and a new landmark in Beijing.