Thursday, August 09, 2007

Four minute interview and slide show with the Beijing 'Water Cube' architect.

Jane McLean spoke with John Bilmon of PTW, the architects of this over-designed, form before function, aquatics center. Here is a link to the PTW site so you can see all of the 'horsey' stuff they build: [Link]

From CNN: The National Aquatics Centre, known as the "Water Cube," for the Beijing Olympics looks set to be ready in October 2007. ... he building's design and operation aims to live up to China's promise to be the most environmentally friendly Games ever. ..." [Link]

Greenest games ever? I don't think so. The IOC is all ready having issues with air quality and has suggested events be rescheduled if air quality is rated unhealthful: [Link]

Keep in mind this is a country that uses coal as a primary energy source, allows metal tailings to flow into rivers unregulated and prefers 'Sour Crude' oil instead of 'Brent Crude' or 'Sweet Crude' to drive their cars and buses. (Sour Crude contains more sulphur and costs more to refine but it is cheaper than Sweet Crude but pollutes more.)


Ranger said...

With all that's in the news about food safety standards in China, is the IOC or USOC worried about food safety for the athletes?

Tony Austin said...

I was wondering that too. Is the US gaming China over their dollar fixing of the Yuan?

Are we in the same danger from Chinese produce as we are from uncooked California spinach?

Is all produce outside the auspices of the USDA dangerous?

I don't know but I wouldn't eat Chinese food unless it was irradiated.

But that is just me.

Scott said...

In listening to the interview John Bilmon states the function of the building was paramount. For example he cites their belief the 'Water Cube' will be one of the most efficient buildings ever, both in energy use and recycling as well as in materials used. He noted that their studies showed a simple rectangular structure was the most functional so they concentrated on the building's envelope to create something visually spectacular. I think the building's concept is wonderful and certainly ground-breaking, and being visually stunning (in my opinion) I think this building exemplifies the very best in today's architecture.

Tony Austin said...

Flat surfaces or continuous oval surfaces such as a dome move water around very efficiently. The uneven surfaces of the water cube will collect dirt, and grime thus making it hard to keep clean.

The panels are touted and collecting heat but the heat is not controlled in any way, in other words it will act like a green house. If it heated the pool that would be one thing.

I am concerned about ventilation or hot areas. Will the plastic panels put forth an odor or react with the chlorine.

Since the panels are curvy on the inside too, I think the chance of water evaporation reacting with the heat transfer could create sublime opportunities for mold.

Anonymous said...

Beijing best Olympics ever? Don't think so. Sydney will never EVER be topped.

Tony Austin said...

I had to think about this one. Hmmm, I like Athens better but just barely. Phelps, Thorpe, Hackett, Inge, oh and the volleyball!

Athens was the best one for me but it was close between Sydney and Athens.

Atlanta wasn't my favorite at all. L.A. was better and so was Korea.