Five years have passed since the Beijing Olympics and many of the buildings in the Olympic campus are still sitting unused. But the Chinese National Aquatic Center, dubbed the Watercube, has been repurposed as an aquatic wonderland that is now the second most popular destination in Beijing– who wouldn’t want to go to a place called ‘Happy Magic Water Cube‘?
The park, which opened in 2010, is the largest waterpark in Asia, and features a wave pool, lazy river, and various water slides, all within an otherworldly marine environment, complete with larger-than-life bubbles and floating jellyfish. The waterpark design was completed by Forrec, a Canadian planning and design firm that specializes in entertainment and leisure environments.
The ambience benefits from the structure itself, which was originally designed for the 2008 Olympics by Australian firm PTW Architects in collaboration with international design and engineering agency Arup, and has garnered awards for its innovative use of materials and sustainability. In particular, the building has been recognized for its ETFE pillow exterior, which is not only visually intriguing, but also extremely energy efficient.