Zaha Hadid, winner of last year’s most coveted architectural prize, will design London’s Olympic Aquatics Centre, it was announced today.

The winning design for the Aquatics Centre, which will form part of London’s Olympic Park for a 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games, has a spectacular, sinuous S-shaped roof inspired by the flow of water, that is certain to make it a London landmark.

Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, said: ‘A London Olympic Games in 2012 would be the greatest sporting spectacle the world has ever seen – as well as transforming the Lower Lea Valley and creating a lasting legacy of cutting edge sporting venues for the capital and the nation. Zaha Hadid’s exceptional winning design gives a taste of just what we can offer and makes London’s bid to host the Games even more compelling.’

Keith Mills, Chief Executive of London 2012, said: ‘This is an outstanding design that will create a spectacular building, delivering the essential ‘wow’ factor for the 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games. It will then be cleverly transformed following the Games by taking away the majority of the 20,000 seats, which will not be needed, turning it into more intimate spaces suitable for community use. It gives the community a lasting sporting legacy.’

Lord Carter of Coles, Chair of Sport England and Panel Co-Chair, said: ‘We have chosen a design which will not only create a state-of-the-art environment for Olympic swimmers but will also provide a lasting legacy for swimming in London.  The centre will have the ability to be used by elite swimmers, local clubs, universities, schools and most importantly of all, the local community.’

Lord Rogers, of the Richard Rogers Partnership, who co-chaired the Panel that chose the design, said: ‘This building has an exceptional sculptural quality that will make it a wonderful building to visit, attracting people to East London. It sets the standard for architectural quality in this key regeneration area.’

The Aquatics Centre design includes two 50m competition pools and a competition diving pool. It also has 20,000 spectator seats and all the ‘back of house’ facilities required for an Olympic Games.  The design will especially appeal to swimmers during the Olympic Games because each pool has an arena around it for spectators, creating a unique atmosphere.

After the Games, the centre design can be converted, with the pools dividing into different spaces, making it easy for community and elite swimmers of different abilities to use. The centre will also have an extensive health and fitness area to contribute to the long-term viability of the building.

Notes to Editors

1. Images and a computer-generated animation of the design are available from the London 2012 Press Office, 020 7093 5100.

2. Zaha Hadid is working with engineering experts Ove Arup and
Partners and top swimming pool architects S & P.

3. Zaha Hadid is the Laureate for the Pritzker Architects Prize 2004. Please refer to http://www.zaha-hadid.com/ for further information.

4.The competition has been run by the London Development Agency, the Mayor’s agency for business, jobs and regeneration, which owns the site for the proposed Olympic Aquatics Centre. The proposed location is a regeneration site in Carpenters Road, Stratford.

5.The stakeholder group involved in this project are the London Development Agency, London 2012, Sport England, the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, London Borough of Newham, Lee Valley Regional Park Authority, the Amateur Swimming Association, British Swimming and the University of East London.

6.The members of the Panel that chose the design were: Lord Rogers, Lord Carter of Coles, Observer architecture critic Deyan Sudjic, Ray Jupp, Chair of Newham Swimming Club, Shaun Dawson CEO of Lee Valley Regional Park Authority, Tony Winterbottom, Executive Director LDA, Ricky Burdett of the Greater London Authority’s Architecture and Urbanism Unit and Francine Houben, Mecanoo Architecten.

Back the bid – register your support now on http://www.london2012.com/ or text the word LONDON to 82012.

For further information contact the London 2012 Press Office on 020 7093 5100