Water Cube (Beijing National Aquatics Center)

City: Beijing, China

Year of Games: 2008

Architect: PTW Architects, CSCEC, CCDI, and Arup

The square Water Cube was envisioned as a complimentary structure to the round Bird's Nest stadium. The Chinese design partners felt that the square shape was more symbolic in Chinese architecture, while the Australian partners lobbied to cover the structure in bubbles to recall the aquatic sports that occur inside of it. In Chinese culture, the square represents the earth, while the circle, embodied by the Bird's Nest, symbolizes the heavens.