Skip to main content

Watercube – National Swimming Centre

CSCEC + PTW + CCDI and ARUP won the International Design Competition for the Beijing 2008 Games aquatic centre. The scheme met international standards for competition, while maximising social and economic benefits.

In addition to being an aquatic competition venue for the games, the centre provided public multi-function leisure and fitness facilities before and after the games. The concept combined the symbolism of the square in Chinese culture and the natural structure of soap bubbles translated into architectural form.

The design used state-of-the-art technology and materials to create a building that was visually striking, energy efficient, and ecologically friendly.

The striking Watercube structure was energy efficient by maximising natural light and capturing solar energy to heat the interior spaces as well as the pools. Water efficiency was achieved by rainwater harvesting, recycling, efficient filtration and backwash systems.

Olympic Pool Hall during the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games
Olympic Pool Hall during the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games


Beijing Olympic Green, Beijing, China




People’s Government of Beijing Municipality, Beijing State-owned Assets Management Co., Ltd


2009 RIBA International Award
2009 IOC/IAKS Award for Exemplary Sports and Leisure Facilities
2009 International Biennial "Barbara Cappochin" Architecture Prize, Honourable Mention
2009 China's Most Successful Design Awards, Diamond Award-
2008 AIA The Jørn Utzon Award for International Architecture
2008 International Design Awards, International Designer of the Year Award
2008 International Design Awards, Architecture of the Year Award
2008 World Architecture Festival Awards, Category: Sport - Highly Commended
2008 The Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture and Design, International Architecture Award
2008 Finalist of the First London International Creative Competition,
2007 LEAF Award for Public Building of the Year
2004 Venice Biennale “Metamorph” Special Award for Most Accomplished Work in Section “Atmosphere”