Known as the Water Cube this is one of the most dramatic and exciting venues of the 2008 Olympic Games. The building’s structural design is modelled on the natural formation of soap bubbles to give a random organic appearance. ETFE foils cushions sitting within a steel frame structure are used to form the bubbles.
DDA worked with Vector-Foiltec, the specialist ETFE contractor to optimise the design of the cushions using dynamic relaxation software by Oasys. A contour plot of surface pressure coefficients from the wind tunnel investigation was used to determine specific pressures across each cushion. The cushions were then formfound and analysed to determine the foil thickness and perimeter loading.