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Macron opens Paris 2024 aquatics centre prior to Olympic Games

French President Emmanuel Macron was present at the opening of the Olympic Aquatics Centre in Paris.

Featured image credit: ©VenhoevenCS + Ateliers 234

French President Emmanuel Macron was present at the opening of the Olympic Aquatics Centre in Paris.

Featured image credit: ©VenhoevenCS + Ateliers 234

The Olympic Aquatics Centre in Paris has been opened in time before the city’s hosting of this year’s Olympic and Paralympic Games, with French President Emmanuel Macron inaugurating the venue.

Macron was joined by Paris 2024 president Tony Estanguet in Seine-Saint-Denis where the centre is due to host the artistic swimming and diving events as well as the preliminary phase of water polo during the Games.

“We want to welcome the world, our athletes to win a lot of medals and it to be an incredible moment of French pride,” Macron said of the 6,000-seat centre.

“But we also want these structures to remain, as with the Olympic and Paralympic Village. For us, this is one of the big elements of heritage.”

The venue has been made with sustainability in mind in France’s drive for all new public buildings to use 50% wood or other biomaterials.

It boasts the biggest hanging roof in the world made entirely from wood. On this sits a 5,000 square metre solar farm which is intended to provide enough energy for the entire building.

All the spectator seats are newly designed and made from 100% recycled plastic collected from schools in Saint-Denis. All of the furniture in the restaurants, bars, and entrances are made from wood waste from the construction site and other nearby demolition sites.

The centre is linked to the nearby Stade de France by an 18-metre-wide footbridge.

“We wanted to use the least amount of material possible, and using wood means we don’t have to use drywall or other fixes used in construction to hide structural elements,” says Laure Mériaud of architects Ateliers 2/3/4/, which co-designed the venue alongside VenhoevenCS.

After the Games, the venue will be converted into a neighbourhood sports centre opening in the summer of 2025.

It will be equipped with a learner pool, fitness centre, bouldering wall, climbing gym, and padel, basketball, and yoga facilities.

“It is with great emotion that we receive the keys to the Olympic Aquatics Centre,” said Estanguet.

“We’re very proud to see this magnificent facility delivered by the Greater Paris Metropolis, and what’s more, a month ahead of schedule!”