Like a hill near Ladysmith in South Africa the main stand of the first ever purpose-built Olympic water polo arena rises steeply.
3,200 spectators face the teams as they enter the playing area and that is the way David Morley designed it.
David is the lead architect of this simple, effective and innovative yet temporary wedge of a building near the main entrance to the Olympic Park.
“Usually water polo arenas are converted swimming pools and the wrong shape. We have put the umpire platforms, the referees desk, the media and, higher up, more spectators on the other side so no sightline is obstructed.
“At the test event I sat in every position. We use computer modelling techniques so there were no surprises visually.
“It is more difficult to imagine atmosphere, acoustics and environmental control.”
The huge inflatable cushions which make up the sloping silver roof provide insulation, stop condensation and their wavy appearance is the splash to the Aquatics Centre diving figure.
The skin on the walls is one of the first uses of a new, recyclable PVC that can be folded without creasing. It is pulled tight and lights at night pick out the scollops at the top.
“For me, says David, the Olympic legacy is partly infrastructure but it has also moved design and products forward.”
The man who designed it and the man who will use it have already met.
Matt Phelan is from Sydney and the venue general manager. He almost vibrates with passion, energy and commitment.
“David has done an incredible job. This venue has soul and personality. It is a unique structure that delivers internally. He has put a theatre in place to allow the athletes to perform and there is not a bad seat in the house. I think it does exactly what it was required to do.
“You spend years and years planning this on a 2D piece of paper and then when you walk in and put a 3D element to it everything you have planned might not work so you have to be adaptable and flexible.
“Speaking to the athletes at the test event they have certainly enjoyed the experience with the proximity of the training pool and changing rooms to the main arena.”
Matt will oversee a staff of more than 250 during the 14 days of competition. He is one of thousands who are putting the yards in to ensure the Games run smoothly.
“ Yes, we work long hours but we are here to deliver an Olympic Games. We are in a privileged position and it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity.”
After the Games the facility will be taken down, the 5,000 leased seats returned and the 37 metre pool dismantled.
David’s concept for the structure, as a kit of parts, is for it to be re-used to make one or two completely different buildings.
“The two pools could make four smaller swimming pools for schools or the whole building could be re-erected for other major sporting events such as the Commonwealth Games or the next Olympics.”
Matt, of course, will be far too busy to watch much of the action but David has tickets and more reason than most to be really excited.