Sunday, 20 July 2014

The RIBA Stirling Prize 2014 - The London Aquatics Centre

Designed by Zaha Hadid Architects for the Olympic Delivery Authority this building has been constructed and then partially deconstructed over the last nine years and this week saw it's finished beauty make the RIBA Stirling Prize Shortlist 2014. The winner will be chosen on 16th October 2014 from a list that contains two other London candidates the LSE Saw Swee Hock Student Centre and The Shard.

I have visited The London Aquatics Centre often since it opened it's doors to the public, even attending a World Series Diving event and it is a very special place. Looking around you see concrete shaped into extraordinary curves and the metal fittings up in the spectator gallery mirroring those used in and around the pools...the pool steps and diving board handrails.  I particularly like the diving platforms, again shaped in concrete and the stunning ceiling.  When it was first opened you could look out of the windows on both sides however, those to the right looking towards the City have now been obscured.

Now that the side wings have been removed the building looks perfect and definitely worthy of being on the shortlist.  The building is now in the hands of GLL and open to the public for swimming, diving and swimming lessons.  If you don't fancy going for a swim and just want to have a look around the inside you can wander for as long as you'd like for £1.00! There is also a cafe area at entrance level.

I'm crossing my fingers and hoping that this space is crowned overall winner for 2014!