LAVA

LABORATORY FOR VISIONARY ARCHITECTURE

BEIJING WATERCUBE

  • Client:
  • People’s Government of Beijing Municipality
  • Location:
  • Beijing, China
  • Status:
  • Completed 2008
  • Partners:
  • PTW CCDI ARUP
  • Size:
  • 62.950 m2

ABOUT

The Watercube, designed for the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, associates water, as a structural and thematic “leitmotiv”, with the square, the primal shape of the house in Chinese tradition and mythology.

The entire structure of the Watercube is based on a unique lightweight construction, developed by PTW and CSCEC with ARUP, and derived from the structure of water in the state of aggregation of foam. Behind the totally randomised appearance hides a strict geometry that can be found in natural systems like crystals, cells and molecular structures. By applying this novel material and technology the transparency and apparent randomness is transposed into the inner and outer skins of ETFE cushions.

Unlike traditional stadium structures with their gigantic columns and beams, cables and back spans, to which a facade system is applied, the Centre’s architectural space, structure and facade are one and the same element.

 

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Design: Toko / Development: Damien Aistrope