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?
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.