By Ellen Schliebitz , eChinacities.com

The Beijing National Aquatics Center, more commonly referred to as the Water Cube, was one of the main architectural highlights of the Beijing Olympic Games. Nothing could cast the cube-shaped, membrane covered “bubble” building into the shadows – not even the colossal steel structure of the Bird’s Nest. But then, a little over a year later it closed. Despite its rather short lifespan as a full-functioning sports venue, its temporary closure since last October has been for all the right reasons.


Photo: News.cn

Both during and after the Olympics, the Water Cube was not only seen as a remarkable architectural feat, but as a venue where a staggering 21 world records were broken. For this reason, preserving the legacy of this iconic site became the top priority of its managers. Extensive reconstruction and improvement work was needed to ensure the building could continue to function as efficiently and smoothly as during its Olympics heyday.

Now, after ten months of reconstruction the Water Cube is opening to the public once again at the end of July. Although the world’s largest sports event won’t be held here again any time soon, the cube will continue to play a very big role in the country’s future; transforming into a multi-functional venue that includes a public swimming pool and the largest indoor waterpark in all of Asia. The waterpark section of the Cube is scheduled to officially open on the anniversary of the Beijing Olympics – August 8th.

350 million yuan have been pumped into the cube’s reconstruction and major changes have included a massive expansion from its original size of 49,000 square metres to a whopping new 77,000 square metres. The original Olympic style has been preserved, as has its ability to host large-scale international sporting events. Other changes include an Olympic Games memorial exhibition hall, a bar and several other themed exhibition halls. 

However, the mother of all changes has been its transformation into a colossal waterpark that’s open to the public all year round. Water park attractions include deep water cyclones, a Jacuzzi area, wave machines and many more exciting water features. The pools have also been fitted with special year-round water temperature controls, which allow the water’s temperature to readjust according to the seasons.

Details
Water Cube 水立方View In Map
Add: Olympic Park, Chaoyang District, Beijing
地址:北京市朝阳区奥林匹克公园
Getting there: take the special Olympic subway line 8 to Olympic Park.

The Water Cube Opening Date (includes access to exhibition areas and swimming pool, but excluding the waterpark) is July 28th.
Water Cube opening times: 09:00-21:00 (ticket sales stop at 20:30)
Tickets: 30 RMB

Swimming Pool opening times: 13:00-20:30 Mon-Fri, 09:00-20:30 Sat-Sun
Tickets: 50 RMB for two hours

Waterpark Opening Date: August 8th, 2010
Waterpark opening times: 10:00-21:30 (ticket sales stop at 20:30)
Tickets: 200 RMB adults, 160 RMB children 1.2-1.4 metres tall, free for children under 1.2 metres

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Keywords: Water cube reopening biggest waterpark asia Beijing water park water cube Beijing water cube reconstruction Beijing

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