The National Aquatics Center, better known as “Water Cube”, is one of the best venues of the 2008 Beijing Olympics, built with donations from Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan compatriot and overseas Chinese. It was chosen through public appraisals as one of “China ten big new architecture views” by The U.S. magazine "Business Weekly".
The iridescent bubble wrapped rectangular box shaped structure won the 2011 National Science & Technology Progress Award, First Class, for its deliberate morphing of molecular science, architecture and phenomenology that can create an airy and misty atmosphere for a personal experience of water leisure
The venue hosted the swimming, diving and synchronized swimming events during the Olympics, when it saw 21 world records tumbling down for 24 times. For this, it has been reputed as a “magic water cube” and an “Aquatic Hall of Fame”.
The post-Olympic management and operation of the center has been put in the hands of the Beijing National Aquatics Center Co. Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Beijing State Assets Co.. By making full use of its resources, the company has created a new operational model, achieving fruitful results in the comprehensive utilization and diversified development of the post-Olympic venue. This includes hosting international and domestic competition events, setting up a swimming club to promote popular swimming, offering the venue as a resident performing arts theater to cultivate famous brands, holding large-scaled painting and calligraphy exhibitions and marketing Olympic licensed products.
Over the years, it has hosted the FINA/NVC Diving World Series (Beijing), FINA/Arena Swimming World Cup (Beijing), FINA Synchronized Swimming Grand Prix, and the World Women’s Water Polo League Super Finals.
The Water Cube Series of licensed products have been rated among the “Top 10 Musts for Tourists to Beijing”. Former IOC President Jacques Rogge praised the Water Cube as “a perfectly-equipped, widest open and best operated Olympic swimming venue.”