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the National Aquatics Center, also known as the Water Cube, is located on the west side of Landscape Avenue in the Olympic Green and to the west of National Stadium in Beijing. It contains the official 2008 Olympics swimming facility. The construction started on December 24th, 2003 and was finished on January 1st, 2008. It covers an area of 6.3 hectares and measures 177 meters long, 177 meters wide, and 30 meters high. It has four floors: one at street level, one underground and two above. Its floor space reaches 7.95 hectares, while the below street level area is no less than 1.5 hectares. The one below served as the service area during the Olympics. The first floor is for tourists. The second floor is for the audiences with 6,000 fixed seats and 11,000 temporary seats. The third floor is strictly for business.

The design of National Aquatics Center combines modern technologies with Chinese traditional values. In tradition, Chinese conceptualized a square Earth and a round Heaven, and this formed the design's central theme. Moreover, the ancient urban buildings were dominated by the shape of the cube. The traditional style of it can meet all its functional requirements.

The Blend of Architecture & Advanced Technology

Designed by Chinese and Australian, the National Aquatics Center is the first building in the world built upon "the soap bubble" theory and sports a polyhedral steel-framed structure.

The ETFE (the ethylene-tetrafluoroethylene copolymer) membrane insulates it. 3,065 bubble-like pneumatic cushions of all sizes form this advanced membrane structure. It becomes the first large-scale public project coated with the membrane, and it also has set up a new world record for its massive deployment.

As looking like a huge blue box, The National Aquatics Center got its nickname: the Water Cube. And the color blue is made to reflect the sunlight. It shines in the sunlight like a pearl in water. From the inside, you may discover that the pneumatic cushions of all sizes are just like sea bubbles.

Attractions nearby Water Cube (outdoor scene)

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