The Olympic Aquatics Centre will host the world’s top artistic swimmers, water-polo players, divers and boccia contenders during the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games. But it was designed, more than anything else, to address needs in the area around it, Seine Saint Denis. In July 2025 it will open for schoolchildren and grown-ups living nearby to practice swimming.
Planned for the people
The concept for the Paris 2024 Games is based on a bold choice: using existing infrastructure or temporary overlays in 95% of cases, and only building infrastructure that people need. The Aquatics Centre is one example. It will connect to the neighbouring Stade de France over a footbridge spanning the A1 motorway, and is a meaningful public investment for Seine Saint Denis, which is seriously lacking in sports facilities today.
The Aquatics Centre’s novel configuration will be modular: it will be able to switch from a 6,000-seat venue during the Games to a 2,500-seat facility to host neighbourhood events afterwards.
After the Games, the Aquatics Centre will become a vast multi-sports facility open to all, including a fitness area, climbing wall, skatepark and pitches for individual and team sports. It will also have an adjustable floor to serve a variety of purposes (swimming lessons for babies, children, etc.).
The Olympic Aquatics Centre will be low-carbon and all the building materials will be bio-based. The timber structure and roof frame will blend seamlessly into the surrounding greenery.
The roof will span 5,000 sq. metres and be covered with photovoltaic panels. It will be one of France’s largest urban solar farms and supply all the energy that the Centre needs.
The interior fittings will be made of recycled materials – and made in France to showcase the country’s expertise in environmental performance.
An unrivalled experience for athletes and fans
During the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games, the Aquatics Centre will host the artistic swimming, water-polo, diving and boccia events.
It will be the single venue for water sports (except for open-water swimming), 400 metres from the Stade de France and less than 2 kilometres from the Olympic Village. It will connect the Paris 2024 bases and make for a more convenient experience for athletes and fans alike.
The seats will be in a horseshoe-like configuration, so the 6,000 fans can enjoy all the action right by the pool. The Aquatics Centre will also be fully accessible for people with impairments.
Meeting the sports movement’s needs
Besides opening to the public on a daily basis right after the Games, the Aquatics Centre will also become the state-of-the-art facility that the French sports movement has been looking forward to for decades.
The French swimming federation will be able to host tournaments in its four indoor disciplines, for 5,000 fans thanks to the modular design.
The Centre will also provide a best-in-class training facility for French athletes, and in particular house the country’s diving centre.