MAD Architects unveils its design for the 2024 Paris Olympics’ Aquatic Center. The firm has teamed up with three French studios, Jacques Rougerie Architecture, Atelier Phileas Architecture, and Apma Architecture on this project.
The design team’s proposal envisions the sports facility as an urban public artwork that showcases the beauty and hope of Paris. Driving along the city’s main road, the translucent curved building appears to be floating. Its curves change with the sunlight and the sky, like ripples.
Through the white translucent curtain wall, natural light is able to enter the interior, creating a continuous play of light and shadow. On the exterior, it also functions as a 360-degree projection screen. During the games, it will display information and provide live broadcasts of on-going events inside. In collaboration with local multimedia artists, it will become the largest display interface of public art in the region.
The ambitions of the 2024 Paris Olympics is to instill environmental change and work toward hosting the games as carbon neutral. The 36 venues set for Paris 2024 will be housed in existing or temporary infrastructure, with only two new large-scale venues being built. One of these is the Aquatic Center. It is located in the Saint-Denis district of Paris, adjacent to the Stade de France, which will host the opening and closing ceremonies of the Paris 2024 Olympics, along with track and field events. Positioned to the west of the stadium, separated by a high-speed road, the two key Olympic venues will be connected by a pedestrian bridge linking them to one another.
The Aquatic Center can accommodate 5000 spectators during the Olympics, but to maintain its legacy and usability, it has been designed to easily transform to half its size after the games. Aligning with Paris 2024’s environmental protection considerations and sustainable development, approximately 70 percent of the structure is constructed from wood, minimizing the project’s carbon footprint. The building also employs renewable energies. Large solar panels contribute to reducing light and energy consumption; and rainwater collection systems recycle water to irrigate integrated landscaping that covers an area of 6000 m2 (64,583 sf).