London Aquatics Centre. A Solitary Wave

London Aquatics Centre
London Aquatics Centre

In the far east of London, stands majestic and solitary the London Aquatics Centre. In an almost inexistent context, it emerges from the flatness of the surroundings, like a solitary wave in the middle of the ocean.

At first sight, its dynamic form amazes but then the question arises: would it be as beautiful within a context? Or is it this emptiness that enhances the building? “Space is meaningless without scale, containment, boundaries and direction”, writes Huxtable – so is the aquatic centre just a meaningless wonder?

Curved Wall
Curved Wall

I cannot deny that its shape and materiality interests me. The timber gently bended, the slightly tilted glass, the overall movement, the long span…all details showing a long and well thought study of the structure. I cannot even deny that it does not serve its purpose, because it does. Oriented on a north-south axis, it has glazing on the east and west side, providing natural lighting to the swimming pool in the morning and in the afternoon.

I can, however, say that when I stand in front of it, it does not make me burn inside. Instead, I feel insignificant, in this immense and flat urban desert where the only spectator is the mute and motionless London skyline.

London Aquatics Centre



  1. Nice pictures and article! Did you have the chance to go inside? Do you have any pictures of the interior?

    1. Hi Erika, thank you! Unfortunately we were just able to walk to the reception and see the interior behind a glass. Therefore we didn’t take pics. Only swimmers are allowed to go inside. It is a great space! It is a shame we couldn’t walk around. The natural lighting works really well. It’s a bright and spacious building. The two swimming pools are in the centre and the terraces for the spectators all around. Must have been so nice to see the Olympics there! Hopefully in the future we’ll be able to take a swim there and take pictures of the interior.

  2. Wow… You have an absolutely gorgeous blog! Thank you so much for finding me, so that I found you… I look forward to looking around more when I get the chance! All the best xo Fia

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