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London Aquatics Centre's 5th anniversary

Since opening to the public 5 years ago this month, over 4 million people have visited the London Aquatics Centre for swimming and diving.

Teaching 4,000 local children and adults to swim every week, the London Aquatics Center also hosts 50 different local schools for their swimming lessons, enabling thousands more school children to learn to swim.

Designed as a wave on its riverside site, the centre hosted the aquatics events of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games - with two stands either side of the pools giving a spectator capacity of 17,000. After the Games, these stands were removed and the pool was converted to community use with its seating capacity reduced to 2,000 for national competitions.

Ground granulated blast-furnace slag (GGBS), a waste by-product of the steel industry, substituted up to 70 per cent of the cement in the concrete used for the London Aquatics Centre. Additionally, over 80 per cent of aggregates used in the building were from a recycled source.

“The most jaw-dropping municipal swimming pool in the world. From the curved wall of grass that encloses the lower levels to the swooping wave of a roof, this organic-looking structure beckons you in… But it is not until you reach the cathedral-like interior of the main pool hall that you realise the extraordinary skill of the architect. Anyone can now swim in it for around the same entrance fee as other local baths. It is a great legacy of the Olympics.” The Guardian.

In praise of...London Aquatics Centre

Photograph courtesy of GLL