London Aquatics Centre

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The London Aquatics Centre is one of four permanent sporting venues on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, though it has undergone a huge transformation from its Games configuration to the final design we see today. It contains three separate pools - two 50m swimming pools and a 25m diving pool, all of which can be used simultaneously and all of which have movable floors to vary the depth as required.


When it is not being used for competitions, it is open to the public as a swimming pool with prices in line with other local community swimming pools.


2012

During the 2012 Games, the pool was configured with two "wings" of seating which increased the capacity of the venue to 17,500 (see photo below). After the games, the temporary wings were removed and architect Zaha Hadid's beautiful, sweeping glazed design was finally visible.


Jacques Rogge, IOC President, described the Centre as a "masterpiece"


Swimming

Swimming events in the Aquatics Centre featured a total of 32 events, 16 each for men and women. The following events were contested:


  • Freestyle: 50m, 100m, 200m, 400m, 800m (women), and 1,500m (men);
  • Backstroke: 100m and 200m;
  • Breaststroke: 100m and 200m;
  • Butterfly: 100m and 200m;
  • Individual medley: 200m and 400m;
  • Relays: 4×100m free, 4×200m free; 4×100m medley


Male swimmers broke 3 World and 4 Olympic records during the Olympic Games and 44 World and 15 Paralympic records during the Paralympic Games.


Female swimmers broke 6 World and 12 Olympic records during the Olympic Games and 36 World and 14 Paralympic records during the Paralympic Games.


Diving

Diving events during the Olympic Games of 2012 were the same for both men and women, with 25 nations competing:


  • 3m Springboard
  • 10m Platform
  • 3m Synchronised Springboard
  • 10m Synchronised Platform



London Aquatics Centre
Architect
  • Zaha Hadid
Awards (selection)
  • Shortlisted for 2014 Stirling Prize
  • New London Architecture Award 2014: Civic Culture & Sport category
  • Interior Design Best of the Year 2012
Operator
  • Greenwich Leisure Ltd. (GLL)
Opened
  • 1 March 2014
Visitors
  • 1.7m visitors since opening (as at June 2016)
  • 690,000 visitors March-December 2015
  • Average of 17,500 visitors per week
Workforce
  • 65% of workforce from local boroughs at opening
Construction/Sustainability
  • Designed for 65% less potable water compared to normal pools achieved by low flow fittings and recycled water
  • Temporary seating removed from the wings was gifted to community groups across the country
  • 10M litres of water in all 3 pools
  • 80,000 tiles in pools and 600,000 in centre
  • Roof is 160m long by 80m wide and 45m high resting on three concrete supports. It has a longer single span than Heathrow T5
  • Aluminium roof is 50% recycled and with its steel support structure, weighs 3,200 tonnes
  • The interior of the roof is coated with 30,000 sections of Red Louro timber
  • The unique six-board concrete diving platform weighs 462 tonnes
  • Work underway with University of Reading and Imperial College London to model and trial innovative approaches to facilities management to further reduce energy consumption
Facilities
  • Competition Pool 50x25x3m deep: movable floor and boom to transform it into 2x25m pools
  • Training Pool 50x21x2m deep: movable floor and boom to transform it into 2x25m pools
  • Diving Pool 25x21x5m deep with platform boards at 3, 5, 7.5 and 10m high and springboards at 1m and 3m
  • Permanent spectator capacity of 2,500 with flexibility to expand to 3,500
  • Divers warm-up pool and dry diving zone with stretch area, foam pit and gymnastics areas which are not open to the public.
  • 50 station gym
Events and Usage
  • Clubs and squads with regular training sessions include: Growth Borough Swimming Squads and clubs, 4 universities, London Disability Swimming Club, Out to Swim
  • Tom Daley Diving Academy provides tuition to all standards of diver
  • Over 50 schools have used LAC for their school swimming lessons
  • Hosted European Aquatics Championships, 9-23 May 2016