Also known as the “Water Cube”, Beijing National Aquatics Center served as the iconic venue of the Beijing 2008 Summer Olympics. At that time, Beijing National Aquatics Center offered a grand aquatics-themed visual feast, with focus on swimming, diving, synchronized swimming and other items. During the upcoming cycle of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics, it creatively puts forward a reconstruction scheme for “water-ice transformation”, with a view to changing into “Ice Cube” and impressing all spectators with exciting matches of curling and wheelchair curling. “Water Cube”, supported by “Water-Ice Two-Wheel Drive”, has become the most representative “Summer/Winter Olympic Venue” in Beijing, a notable host city of two Olympic Games.
On December 26, 2018, Beijing National Aquatics Center launched Winter Olympic Venue Reconstruction Project to change from “Water Cube” to “Ice Cube”. The curling venue function is added through this reconstruction project in Competition Hall, which will meet competition needs during the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics and the Paralympic Games. Through scientific research on the venue at all aspects, scientific research team of Beijing National Aquatics Center shapes up a top-grade curling venue that meets the criteria for curling competition during the Winter Olympics. In December 2019, Beijing National Aquatics Center completed ice-making under the “Olympic Standard” for the first time, and successfully held the first high-profile curling event in “Ice Cube”. It has become the world’s first Olympic venue achieving “Water-Ice Transformation”.
As an important driving force for “Water-Ice Two-Wheel Drive” of Summer/Winter Olympic Venue, BSAM invests and constructs Ice Sports Center of “Ice Cube”, a part of South Square of Beijing National Aquatics Center. Upon completion, Ice Sports Center covers an overall operating area of 8,000 square meters, including a standard ice rink of 1,830 square meters and a curling venue with four standard curling tracks. During the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics, Ice Sports Center will serve as a curling experience base to serve the people. In the post-Games era, Ice Sports Center will further play the important role of the Winter Olympics Heritage and become an integrated ice event platform integrating seven functions in one (i.e., first-grade ice competition, national fitness on the ice, professional ice training, sports tourism landmark, ice performance platform, the Winter Olympics cultural base and curling experience center), and realize the dream of “turning potentially hundreds of millions of people into new winter sports fans”.
Taking this reconstruction project as a golden opportunity, “Water Cube” makes the best of scientific research innovation and new technology application, and develops such a brand-new total solution that combines venue function transformation, venue management mode transformation and even sustainable operation and development thinking transformation for the Olympic venue. Beijing National Aquatics Center not only sets a good example of “Repeated Utilization, Comprehensive Utilization and Sustained Utilization” for all Olympic venues, but also wins “the 2019 Sport and Sustainable Architecture Prize” awarded by the International Olympic Committee.