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Issue Date: December 2004

Arup lands Tianjin Olympic Aquatic Centre project

1 December 2004

Hong Kong building news site, reports that international consultant Arup has won the design competition to build the Tianjin Olympic Aquatic Centre. The final building of the Olympic sport complex located 400 km south-east of Beijing, the centre will provide swimming and diving competition facilities, training centres, retail outlets and aquatic leisure facilities, including an indoor lake.
This achievement follows Arup's BE Award win last May for its National Swimming Centre design project for the Beijing 2008 Olympics. The BE Awards of Excellence honour the extraordinary work of Bentley users improving the world's infrastructure. These projects set benchmarks for their industries, and showcase the imagination and technical mastery of the organisations that created them.
The National Swimming Centre project exhibited all of the award-winning qualities. Its 'Water Cube' design was based on the formation of soap bubbles and a natural pattern of organic cells. Contained within the centre's blue bubble walls are the pools for the Olympic swimming and diving competition, along with seating for 17 000 spectators.
The structure is a 3D Vierendeel space frame 175 m on each side and 35 m high, based on a geometric cell made up of 12 pentagons and two hexagons, which is repeatable in 3D without leaving any empty spaces. Using Bentley Structural and MicroStation TriForma, Arup generated a 3D array of the cell, rotated it about two axes, then sculpted the building. The cut surface planes of the remaining elements form the flanges of the composite structure, while the internal elements form the webs.
Speaking on the use of Bentley products in the project, Stuart Bull, Arup senior 3D technician, says, "Bentley Structural's capabilities, such as automatic drawing extraction, dramatically reduced the time needed to produce 2D documentation. Since we did not have to worry about that part of our workload, we could focus on the 3D model. If we had been using any other software package, it is unlikely we could have produced such complicated geometry and documentation, and integrate with structural analysis, especially in the time frame available." Commenting on the software's interoperability, he continues, "Also, being able to save files in other formats let us quickly issue drawings to clients and consultants in the formats they needed."
The Arup team for the Tianjin project, led by Michael Kwok, will provide structural and fire engineering services, building physics, and sustainability design.
For more information contact Bentley Systems SA, 011 462 5811,

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