The National Aquatics Center, also known as the “Water Cube”, is one of the most dazzling and exciting venues built for the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics. Created for the swimming competitions, it took center spotlight as 25 world swimming records were shattered over the course of the Olympics.
The futuristic design was chosen in 2003 from 10 proposals in an international architectural competition. It was designed and built by a consortium comprised of Australian firm PTW Architects, Arup International engineering group, CSCEC (China State Construction Engineering Corporation), and CCDI (China Construction Design International) of Shanghai.
Completed in the January 2008, the “Water Cube” was built in accordance with a water-saving design concept and is considered a “gigantic green architectural wonder”. The venue's membrane structure, covered by ETFE (Ethylene Tetrafluoroethylene) air cushions, is not only the first of its kind in China and the world's largest and most complex ETFE project, but is also an economical and water-saving creation.