London Aquatics Centre, Queen Elizabeth Park

RIBA Regional Awards 2014: London

London Aquatics Centre, Queen Elizabeth Park
London Aquatics Centre, Queen Elizabeth Park · Credit: Hufton + Crow

London Aquatics Centre, Queen Elizabeth Park
Zaha Hadid Architects for the Olympic Park

It cost a bob or two, and had to convert from ugly-duckling Olympic Games mode to the graceful swan of its final intended form with sloping glazed walls, but everyone agrees it’s been worth it: we have one of the great architectural spaces and today it’s a public swimming pool that anyone can use. Yes, its shape is all about the fluidity of water in motion, but what about function? ‘It works very practically and is well built with very high quality finishes,’ said the judges. 

All this on a very restricted site, and it’s pretty good sustainability-wise. As the judges add: ‘This is a great building of our times.’ 

  • · Credit: Hufton + Crow
  • · Credit: Hufton + Crow