Aquatics Centre Paris 2024

Paris (FR), 2024

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With the whole team, we are excited to see our design of the Aquatics Centre nearing completion, now even with the pools filled.
This venue is the only new permanent building for the Games of 2024. During the Olympics, the venue will host water polo, diving and synchronized swimming competitions. In the month after, it will be used as a training facility for the Paralympics. The project includes a pedestrian crossing, opened festively in June 2023, that connects the Aquatics Centre and Saint-Denis with the Stade de France and the rest of Paris. After the Games, the heritage will be a complex facilitating a wide range of sports and events for the neighbourhood, for he inhabitants of Saint-Denis, Paris.

Healthy city district
This plan goes beyond environmental regulations and requirements. Sustainability and biodiversity are key in all aspects of the design. It is a modern and innovative sports complex surrounded by abundant vegetation that seriously contributes to a livable and healthy city district for the people in Saint-Denis. To also stimulate a healthy lifestyle after the Olympics, the building will be open and transparent and accommodate a wide range of sports and events, both indoor and outdoor.

Nature was the main inspiration for the design concept. Nature is continuously evolving and adapting to changing circumstances, resulting in harmonious and balanced ecosystems. The Aquatics centre invites nature itself in the heart of the new ‘city-district-in-the-making’ of Saint-Denis. This very compact proposal creates room for one hundred trees that will be planted to improve the quality of life and air, stimulate biodiversity and create new ecological connections.

Impressive wooden structure
Wood, one of the quintessential bio-based construction materials, is used to create the main structure of this building. The design of the Aquatics centre features an impressive wooden roof, a suspended shape with minimal construction height that strictly follows the required minimum space for tribunes, people and sightlines, thereby minimizing the amount of air that needs to be conditioned during the coming 50 years. By using wood for this monumental structure, the proposal doubles the required minimum percentage of bio-sourced materials. The Olympic arena under the roof, with tribunes on three sides, can host 5000 spectators around an innovative, modular and multifunctional competition pool.

90% Renewable or recovered energy and upcycled furniture
Energy consumption is one of the big challenges for swimming pools, due to water treatment and high temperature demands. By reducing the energy demand and creating a smart energy system, 90% of the needed energy can be provided with renewable or recovered energy. The solar roof will be one of the biggest solar farms of France and will cover 25% of all required electricity production, which is the equivalent of the electric power use of 200 households.

Water is both a key element of a swimming pool and one of the resources we should preserve most. With a very efficient water system we can seriously reduce the need of fresh water, re-use 50% of the remaining water and still guarantee enough very clean water for all purposes.

Upcycling was also a main design principle. All furniture in restaurants, bars and entrances is made out of wood waste coming from the construction site and other demolition sites. All tribune chairs are newly designed and made out of 100% recycled plastic collected from schools in Saint-Denis.

Livable neighbourhood for the community
By gathering people around sports and leisure, the new Aquatics centre creates a livable neighbourhood that builds bridges between cultures and districts that make use of the facilities and surrounding public spaces of the Aquatics centre. This proposal also makes a literal connection, with a new pedestrian bridge that crosses the highway and connects the public spaces around Stade de France with the aquatic centre and the new heart of the future Eco neighbourhood of La Plaine Saulnier. Finally, this design also promises an innovative Aquatics centre supported by the community, with local associations and enterprises.

Sustainable design concept improves city life
The design for the new Aquatics centre for the Olympic Games 2024 is a balanced ecosystem in itself. It shows how sustainable design concepts can evolve in new architectural aesthetics that contribute to the improvement of the quality of life in our cities.

 

Listen to the podcast (French): ‘le centre aquatic de demain’

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#00 To Surpass – Aquatics Centre Paris Fanzine

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Statistics

Name: Aquatics Centre Paris 2024
Location: Saint-Denis, Paris (FR)
Period: 2018-2025
Status: In Progress
Client: Bouygues Bâtiment Ile de France (La Métropole du Grand Paris)
Awards: Le Grand Prix du Grand Paris 2023 Grand Prix BIM d’Or
Publications: Le Moniteur (FR) BBC World Service’s in the Studio Dezeen Designboom ArchDaily De Volkskrant (NL) AMC (FR) Archiposition (CN) BauNetz (DE) Huffington Post (GR) Le Journal du Grand Paris (FR) NPO Radio 1 (NL) Architizer

Credits

VenhoevenCS: Cécilia Gross, Ton Venhoeven, Jos-Willem van Oorschot, Tjeerd Hellinga, Arjen Zaal, Eraldo Brandimarte, Ivo Brandes, Timothée Pignoux, Arjan Pot, Louis van Wamel
Partner architect:Ateliers 2/3/4/ Architecture, Urbanisme, Paysage
Landscape architect:Ateliers 2/3/4/ Architecture, Urbanisme, Paysage
Main contractor:Bouygues Bâtiment Ile de France
Structural engineer:SBP schlaich bergermann partner
MEP:INEX
Water treatment:Katene
Cost consultant:Mazet & Associes
Exploitation / operation:RECREA (operations), Dalkia (maintenance ), Bouygues Energies Services (maintenance )
Other:Mathis (wooden construction), Inddigo (sustainability consultant), Peutz (acoustic consultant), CSD & Associes (security consultant)
Images: Photography: Salem Mostefaoui, Jean-Philippe Mesguen, Ateliers 2/3/4. Drawings: VenhoevenCS, Ateliers 2/3/4