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The center, near the former Expo Site on the east side of the Huangpu River, consists of three stadiums, one administration building and an artificial lake. The whole complex covers nearly 350,000 square meters and is not just for swimming. It can also host various indoor competitions such as ice skating, ice hockey, basketball and gymnastics, according to GMP International GmbH Shanghai Representative Office, a Germany-based architecture firm that designed the complex.
The main stadium's overall shape is that of a rising wave and the swimming stadium features a sequence of arched shapes, evoking the image of waves washing ashore.
The complex is also reminiscent of sails in the wind.
One of the center's biggest features is the outdoor diving pool. The admission is 20 yuan and half price for kids under 1.3m. With the stands facing the Huangpu River, the audience will be able to watch the athletes dive while taking in the riverside view of Puxi in the background. This may well be the highlight of the championships.
The exterior of the stadiums feature a lot of glass to allow more natural light indoors.
The natatorium, which features a partly glass roof and walls, can be filled with sunlight when the weather cooperates, but also has a system to ensure it's not too bright inside.
The center has an independent 15-story building for the media. During sports events, all press conferences and media services will be coordinated in the Press Center with a total area of 20,058 square meters.