Water Bubble Structures -Water Cube
The Water Cube is the colloquial name for the National Aquatics Center, Beijing. It was built alongside Beijing National Olympics Stadium in the Olympic Green for the swimming competitions of the 2008 summer Olympics. As it names 'water cube', it is not cubic, but cuboid in shape. the aquatic center is really a rectangular box (cuboid) 178 meters (584 ft) square and 31 meters (102 ft) high.
|The Amazing Water Cube in Night|
The water cube design was a design chosen from 10 proposals from an international architectural competition. The project is a team work of a consortium which is made up of PTW Architects ( An Australian architectural firm), Arup International Engineering Group, China State Construction Engineering Corporation and China Construction Design International of shanghai.
The Chinese architects felt that the cube design is more similar to their culture and its relationship to Bird's Nest Stadium. The next idea of cube covered with bubbles was contributed by the Sydney-based team partners, which symbolizes water. Contextually the cube represents the Earth and the circle represents the water. This makes water cube a Chinese symbolic architecture.
|The Construction of Water Cube|
Structural Details of Water Cube
It comprises of steel space frame structure which has employed ETFE cladding covering the structure. The ETFE is ethylene tetra fluoro ethylene which is a fluorine based plastic. It is designed in order to possess high corrosion resistance as well as resistance towards a wide range of temperature changes.It has used world's largest ETFE cladding with over 100,000-meter squares of ETFE pillows. These have a thickness of say 0.2mm. This covering material allows more light and heat penetration than the traditional glass, which results in a 30% decrease in the energy costs.
|A Skeleton View of Steel Framework of Water Cube Structure|
|ETFE MAaterial Cladding|
The exterior wall is based on the Weaire -Phelan structure. In geometry, the Weaire–Phelan structure is a complex 3-dimensional structure representing an idealized foam of equal-sized bubbles.