After the amazing success of the Water Cube in Beijing for the 2008 Summer Olympics, the aquatic center has been transformed into an incredible (and massive) indoor water park. Rather than just letting the record-smashing facility sit there unused, the owners have transformed the space into the fantastical Happy Magic Water Park, complete with slides, a lazy river, a wave pool, floating jellyfish and more. Now Beijing's second most visited tourist spot (after the Great Wall) is a hot spot for family activity and the largest water park in Asia.
The Water Cube, originally designed by Australian firm PTW Architects with the help of Arup, was already an amazing work of architecture that garnered a number of awards and had some record-breaking swimming go on inside of it. With its bubbly facade, incredible daylit interior and energy efficient design, it would have been a shame to let this building just sit there. So we’re pleased as can be that the facility has been turned into an fantastical aquatic playground where families can go and spend time together.
Happy Magic Water Park recently opened on August 8th after a year of renovations, led by Forrec, a Toronto-based design firm that specializes in entertainment and leisure facilities. Inside it is a magical underwater wonderland with hanging ribbons, blue bubbles and floating jellyfish. There are about 10 different “rides” including a wave pool, tube slides, speed slides and even a lazy river. Daylighting through the ETFE pillow exterior still plays a major role in the facility and at night, interior lights shine out to illuminate the surrounding area. The Olympic pool is still used for swimming matches, but now the rest of the facility can be used on a regular basis.