The 72,178-square-foot Aquatics Center -- built for the 2012 Olympics in London -- sits on what was once a brownfield site and was constructed with recycled materials along with building materials transported to the site by rail to cut down on greenhouse gas emissions. It has an undulating roof supported by two concrete columns and a concrete wall. "The concrete is silky to touch and would satisfy even the great master of swerving cement, Oscar Niemeyer," writes Jay Merrick.

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