China National Aquatics Center
Venue: National Aquatics Center;
Location: Olympic Green;
Total land surface: 79,532 sq m;
Seats: 6,000 permanent and 11,000 temporary;
Competitions: Swimming, Diving, Synchronized Swimming;
Groundbreaking date: December 24, 2003;
Completion date: January 28, 2008;
The blue-colored National Aquatics Center (NAC), nicknamed the "Water Cube" and located by Beijing's North Fourth Ring Road, was inaugurated and delivered for use on the morning of January 28, 2008.
It took over four years to construct the Olympic venue, which is a new landmark in Beijing.
The project's ETFE air cushion structures are the first of their kind to be used in China and the largest and most complicated membrane system in any single project in the world.
With the efforts of various participants, many scientific and technical difficulties were overcome. Among the achievements, nine important self-dependent innovations resolved world-class difficult topics related to the project's steel structures, membrane structures and inner layout, formulated related work procedures and technical regulations, and filled in the gap in China's field of architecture.
Also, the NAC is the only Olympic venue to be funded by donations from compatriots. It reflects the great unity of the Chinese at home and abroad to stage the Olympic Games through joint efforts.
Located on the southern part of the central area of the Olympic Green in Beijing, the NAC has a planned construction area of 6.95 hectares. Being adjacent to the central axis of the city, the NAC is situated on par with the National Stadium, at an equal distance to the axis.
The NAC's Games-time construction area is close to 80,000 square meters, containing 17,000 standard seats, including 6,000 permanent seats and 11,000 temporary ones. During the 2008 Olympic Games, it will produce 42 gold medals in swimming, diving and synchronized swimming.
After the Olympics, it will be converted into a multi-functional facility for sports, culture and recreation, featuring a "water setting" for members of society.