May 20, 2008


I don't profess to know a thing about architecture... but I know a thing or twelve about pools. Built for the Beijing Olympics and designed by a conglomerate of international architectural firms, China’s National Aquatics Center (The Water Cube) is mind-bendingly spectacular. Based on the structure of soap bubbles ("mathematical foam" as I heard it described), the Water Cube is not just for those of us with chlorine in our blood.There is so much buzz about this structure—its green-ness, its ability to resist humidity and heat, its earthquake-proof flexibility... in addition to its obvious aesthetic appeal. It has also been seen an architectural highlight of China's big debut. But in the end, I imagine most of the athletes will spend their time trying to tune out the spectacle that is the Water Cube. {Top image via PTW Architects, all other images via Beijing 2008 Olympics}

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