Location: 11 Tianchen East Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing, China
Reasons to visit: Landmark building for 2008 Beijing Olympic Games; Swimming competitions in 2008 Summer Olympics were held here
Our Ratings: ★★★★★
Opening Hours: 9:00-20:00 from May to October
9:00-18:00 from November to next April
The Beijing National Aquatics Center, also officially known as the National Aquatics Center, and commonly known as the Water Cube, is an aquatics center that was built alongside Beijing National Stadium for the swimming competitions (swimming, diving, synchronized swimming, water polo and other competitions) of the 2008 Summer Olympics .
Despite its nickname, the building is not an actual cube, but a cuboid (a rectangular box). Ground was broken on December 24, 2003, and the Center was completed and handed over for use on January 28, 2008. Swimmers at the Water Cube broke 25 world records during the 2008 Olympics.
The Water Cube accommodates 17,000 people which includes 6,000 permanent seats and 11,000 temporary seats (was dismantled after the game).
After the 2008 Olympics the building underwent a 200 -million yuan revamp to turn half of its interior into a water park. The building officially reopened on August 8, 2010. Now it has become an international center for swimming, sports, fitness, and leisure. It will host the curling at the 2022 Winter Olympics.
Inspiration of Shape
This seemingly simple Water Cube is a combination of Chinese traditional culture and modern technology. Chinese people believe that “No rules, no standards.” If you do things according to the rules that have been worked out, you can achieve an overall harmonious result. In the traditional Chinese culture, the idea of “round and square” gave birth to the Water Cube which echoes the circular Birds’ Nest which is the Beijing National Stadium. The Square is the most basic form of ancient Chinese urban architecture. And this ‘square box’ can meet the multi-functional requirements of the National Swimming Center, thus achieving a perfect combination of traditional culture and architectural functions.
Water is an important natural element. In Chinese culture, water can stimulate people’s joy. After the game, the Water Cube has become the largest water park in Beijing. Designers explored the various forms of entertainment and developed various uses for water for all ages, which they called this design concept the Water Cube. Designers hope that water can inspire people's inspiration and enthusiasm, enrich people's lives, and provide people with a memory carrier.
How to Get There ?
-By bus. Take bus 13, 15, 81, 82, 510, 607, Sightseeing Bus No.3, and get off at National Stadium Station.
-By Subway. Take Line 8 and get off at Olmpic Sports Center. Go out from B1 exit and walk north for about 900 meters.