Beijing National Aquatic Centre
The study of the role of soap bubbles in architecture began in the 1960s at the University of Stuttgart, thanks to the guidance of the architect Frei Otto, who sensed the potential of the structural properties of the soap bubble or film and the possibility of applying its model in the architectural field.
These first investigations were followed by the construction of buildings such as the stadium in Munich, the roof of which was created precisely by Otto.
In more recent times, the true architectural triumph of Soap Bubbles occurred with the construction of the Watercube, the Beijing Olympic swimming pool built in 2008 to the design of Ch. Bosse, J. Bilmon and M. Butler. In this case, it is not only a matter of application of a mathematical model (water films) to architecture, but of the cohesion achieved between architecture and the human environment with respect to high and diverse levels of functionality and suggestion: the Watercube is not just an Olympic swimming pool but a surreal aquatic centre that recreates an underwater atmosphere through shapes, lights and colours, all conveyed by… Soap Bubbles!


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