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Repurposed Beijing Water Cube becomes first venue completed for 2022 Winter Olympics

Repurposed Beijing Water Cube becomes first venue completed for 2022 Winter Olympics
December 2, 2020

The organisers of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics have advised that renovations to the city’s National Aquatics Centre have been completed, making it the first venue ready for the 2022 Winter Games.

The venue, known as the Water Cube, which was built to stage aquatics events for the 2008 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games, has been repurposed to host an ice rink for curling for Beijing 2022.

Chinese state news agency Xinhua said the renovation work involved construction, waterproofing, athlete facilities, lighting and other engineering aspects at the innovative venue.

Repurposing of the 50,000 metre² space has also seen the installation of a moveable ice making system in the middle of the arena to form a curling surface with four standard tracks. After significant testing, a water ice conversion system was selected enabling conversion materials to be reused, and the redevelopment cost to be reduced.

Following ice production at the site, the Water Cube, now dubbed the 'Ice Cube', is expected to open to the public by the end of the year.

During the 2022 Games it will have a capacity of 4,500.

Elsewhere, the construction of the Wukesong Ice Sports Centre, which will be used as the ice hockey training venue, was completed last week.

Located to the south east of the ice hockey competition venue, the building will be used for athletes' warm-ups and training.

All ice rinks at Beijing 2022 will use carbon dioxide trans-critical direct cooling technology, which is expected to save more than 40% in energy consumption compared to an ice rink without this system.

A total of 25 competition and non-competition venues, located in Beijing, Yanqing and Zhangjiakou, will be used at the 2022 Games.

The Beijing Competition Zone will be home to three Olympic winter sports, namely curling, ice hockey and skating.

It will feature 12 venues, including eight that remain as a legacy from Beijing 2008.

The Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics are scheduled to take place from 4th to 20th February in 2022, with the Paralympics due to follow between 4th and 13th March.

Images: The Beijing National Aquatics Centre (top, courtesy of PTW Architects), an artist's illustration shows what the venue will look like while hosting curling during the 2022 Winter Games (middle, credit: China Daily) and the Wukesong Ice Sports Centre (below, credit Beijing 2022).

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