26 January 2015

water cube

I officially have a favourite building in terms of facade design: Beijing's national aquatics center, or the water cube as everyone knows it. It's absolutely wonderful for the following reasons:
  • Instead of glass, it uses ETFE (ethyl tetrafluoroethylene) which is lighter by magnitudes and has better thermal properties.
  • The bubble shapes are actually very regular, but appears random.
  • The steel structural members were generated via algorithm, allowing major changes to be implemented within a week. 
  • The double layered facade and large thermal mass of pool water & surrounding concrete passively heats/cools most of the interior space. For areas that need active cooling, cold air is supplied directly to spectator seats taking advantage of stratification. 
  • Shape is culturally significant and is in dialog with the Bird's Nest (typing the second part of the sentence really reminds of the Roman Forum).
All the above information was gleaned from these sources: 1, 2, 3 (this one has the models & drawings).

Now I really hope I get asked what my favourite building is during my interview.

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