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Happy Magic Watercube
Waterpark makeover for Beijing Olympic venue
Beijing’s famous Olympic , affectionately idea of creating an "underwater" environment seemed
swimming venue is about to known as the “Watercube,” is an internationally natural. To create the right atmosphere, tropical reef
be transformed into a T
he National Aquatic Center
renowned architectural wonder. In summer forms have been abstracted, enlarged and suspended
world-class indoor 2008, television viewers around the world watched as within the space, as though they are floating. These
waterpark. This summer the 25 swimming and diving world records were broken floating objects – coral, jellyfish, bubbles and sea
National Aquatic Center will inside its three pools. grasses – act not only as thematic elements but also
reopen as the Happy Magic Yet from the very beginning, the venue was serve to punctuate the space with a sense of
Watercube. Park World takes designed with both sport and recreational use in animation and colour, in contrast with the white
a closer look at this exciting mind. While the immediate purpose was as a geometry of the building itself.

project competitive swimming venue, over one-third of the
32,000 square metre structure was earmarked for Night Light
conversion to an undercover waterpark. Light plays a special role in creating the Happy
This Some of the best suppliers and consultants in the Magic Watercube’s mood. During the day, natural
promises to be
industry are participating on the project. The light filters through the building's outer and inner skin,
makeover will follow a blueprint prepared by Forrec, in the same way that the ocean depths filter sunlight.
one of the
and work is now well underway. Based on its initial At night, the outer shell will glow with an evening
leading indoor
design concept, Forrec was retained to design and light show, as special effects inside the cube create a
oversee all aspects of the project, from conception dramatic, changing underwater world.
waterparks in
through to opening day. In these colourful surroundings, guests will be able
the world,
to enjoy some of the industry’s most contemporary
Underwater Sensation attractions. The large RideHouse play structure, for
offering two
“The Watercube is a dynamic space,” highlights example, will be the first of its kind by ProSlide
Forrec vice-president Anthony Van Dam. “The brief Technology, featuring a high volume water dump and
ery different
from the client was simply to develop a world class
but memorable
concept, in keeping with the stature of the building
and drawing from the ethereal quality of the interior
experiences by environment. Every detail has been considered, from
day and night
theatrical lighting and glass mosaic tiles to custom
props and some ‘first-ever’ attractions.”
Anthony Van
The Watercube’s enormous volume serves both its
Dam, Forrec
uses well. The building's shell and structure consists of
a double-skin external space frame, strengthened by
a lattice. The random polygons of the lattice
resemble soap bubbles, whose translucent
membranes draw light deeply into the space, creating
an "underwater" sensation.

Thanks to the bubble lattice membranes, the
interior space already has a "watery" quality, and the The Watercube structure sits next to the “Bird’s Nest” stadium
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