Aquatics Centre, Olympic Park, London, Zaha Hadid, 2011
I am not a fan of Zaha Hadid but it’s difficult to fault her on the undulating, surging mass that is the Aquatics Centre . I am used to seeing it from the railway lines on my way past from Norwich to London but I took the chance to get up-close before it re-opens for public use in March. There’s certainly something of Cardiff’s wonderful Senedd about the wooden cladding on the overhang but it’s a shame the sleek lines have to be ruined by a clumsily placed CCTV camera.
Therein lies the rub in all these ambitious modern buildings, the abrasion between architectural beauty and practical usage. I hope the pool will function well but there have been dozens of new leisure centres built in the UK in recent years that are already crumbling and few of them are fit-for-purpose. Wouldn’t it be nice if this one just worked. We can live in hope.
Photos by me.