Closer look at Tokyo 2020 venues : The Architectural Prowess behind the Olympic Aquatics Centre

Aquatics is one of the most popular sports of the Olympic and Paralympic Games. But at Tokyo 2020, the venue itself could steal the show with its impressive architecture and innovative engineering.

©Tokyo Metropolitan Government / Jul. 2018

Simulated image as of Nov. 2017 / ©Tokyo Metropolitan Government

Hosting Swimming, Diving and Artistic Swimming competitions, the Olympic Aquatics Centre will see the performances of some of the most popular athletes during the Tokyo 2020 Games. However, the real star might be just above everybody's head: the roof of the venue itself.

Why? First, its dimensions. Measuring 160 metres long, 130 metres wide and 10 metres thick with a total weight of 7,000 tons, it is clearly in the the heavyweight class. But even more impressive is the way it was put together.

Indeed, the roof was built on the ground! An unconventional method which shortens the construction period of the whole venue since the development of the roof was conducted in advance of the main work of the facility. It also improved safety and reduced costs since neither workers nor equipment needed to be elevated.

The roof completed, it was raised to 37 metres in three steps. Now in its final position supported by four core pillars, it provides shelter for the construction workers to escape the rain or the heat.

The Olympic Aquatics Centre will include a main pool, a sub pool and a diving pool and will become the sacred heart for Japanese swimming after the Games. The objective is to organise a hundred competitions annually at international, national and junior levels.

The legacy doesn't exclude the Tokyo citizens as it will also function as a swimming facility where everyone, from children to seniors, can engage in sports and improve their health and wellbeing. It aims to welcome a million visitors a year

Construction of the Olympic Aquatics Centre will be completed by February 2020 and is around 35 per cent complete as of June 2018. Watch the time-lapse (Oct. 2017 - Mar. 2018) to see its architecture taking shape!